COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, June 11. THE U.S. Olympic Committee announced that it would commit more than $10 million to create a “new independent agency that will investigate and resolve allegations of sexual abuse in Olympic sports,” according to the Associated Press.
During a board meeting yesterday, the USOC secured $5.2 million during the next five years directly while requiring the governing bodies of all other Olympic sports to match that initial influx of cash with a combined expense. Additionally, the USOC is looking for additional funding of up to $15 million from “outside parties.”
The agency is slated to begin in 2015, and will provide oversight for all Olympic sports.
USA Swimming has been at the center of this issue in terms of Olympic sports with Executive Director Chuck Wielgus having just apologized to sexual abuse victims within the sport of swimming after initially refusing to do so four years ago on ABC News’ 20/20. Since creating its Safe Sport program, which is the beginning of the USOC movement to adopt Safe Sport concepts throughout Olympic sports, USA Swimming has banned more than 100 members for life.
”There’s a widespread recognition over the Olympic movement that we need to shine more light on this problem,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun told the AP. ”Chuck said that in his blog and the board said that in a very important and formal way today.”
The USOC is definitely taking the issue seriously, and is looking to incorporate other organizations that will help in the fight to eradicate sexual abuse within sports throughout the U.S.
”We believe this is important for someone to step up and take a leading role,” Blackmun told the AP. ”There was a vacuum there. We needed to fill that vacuum. But the issue is important enough that we shouldn’t be the sole funders of the initiative. We need to look for like-minded organizations.”