The Slow Motion Collapse of the USOC House of Cards

Updated: Dec 16, 2018


With the US Senate demanding an FBI investigation into malfeasance by former CEO Blackmun and his executive leadership, it seems that "the knock at the door at midnight" is soon at hand at the U.S. Olympic Committee. Five Olympians, the author included, called for Blackmun's resignation in March 2018. The FBI investigation is another blow to the “too big to fail” USOC, which a mere week ago fired its Sports Performance Chief Alan Ashley, following the release of the Larry Nassar Investigation report by Ropes and Gray.

The Wall Street Journal just reported that Senate Commerce Chair Jerry Moran (R-KS) has joined Ranking Member Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in calling for an FBI investigation. This is a clear sign that a unified Senate will join the House in taking very tough line on the USOC and its NGBs in 2019.  

We have consistently said that the unaccountable House of Cards, led down the wrong path for decades by a leadership with misplaced and at times sinister priorities, focused on "money and medals" above the welfare of our athletes and sports system. The voice of opinions supporting our view is growing. See among others:

Sally Jenkins, The Washington Post:

“What I should have recognized is what the report makes painfully clear: The Olympics in this country became a deeply controlling culture “that eroded normal impediments to abuse” and made it almost impossible for young women to complain. They lost ownership of their bodies in multiple ways and had no advocate. The young women who have come forward and continue to campaign from courtrooms to Congress to reform that dark culture deserved this illuminating, truthful report, and an apology.”

Christine Brennan, USA Today:

"We can’t say it enough. How in the world is this possible? All these top leaders of Olympic sports in the United States, the people charged with the task of encouraging, promoting and protecting America’s athletes, not only failing to act but actually accepting the existence of sexual abusers among the children and young adults in their midst.

It’s atrocious. Reprehensible. Deplorable. I need a new Thesaurus."

Kudos and sincere gratitude to the Senate for its call for a real independent investigation of the USOC and what has gone on for decades at the expense of our athletes and their families. We reiterate our proposal for creation of a Congressional Panel to do a comprehensive investigation of the USOC and its NGBs, and following with legislative action creating a new USOC 2.0 that puts athletes' safety and welfare at the top of the priority list.

August L. Wolf OLY

33 views0 comments