February 07, 2018

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Resolution to Establish an Investigation into the U.S. Olympic Committee & USA Gymnastics Over Decades of Sexual Abuse

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) consponsored a resolution led by U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) to establish a special committee in the Senate to investigate the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and USA Gymnastics regarding how team doctor Larry Nassar was allowed to sexually abuse female gymnasts over decades. Cortez Masto previously called for an oversight hearing in a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

“USOC and USA Gymnastics must be held accountable for turning a blind eye to credible complaints and silencing victims who spoke out to expose Nassar’s crimes,” said Cortez Masto. “They are complicit in perpetuating the abuse of scores of young girls, and there are still many unanswered questions as to how they allowed this to happen for decades. As a federally chartered institution, it is the Senate’s responsibility to investigate USOC and the extent to which systemic sexual abuse was tolerated under their watch.” 

The text of the resolution can be read HERE.

The resolution is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.). It also has the endorsement of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence. 

Specifically, the resolution establishes a special committee of the Senate that is tasked with:

  • Investigating the USOC and national sports governing bodies, including USA Gymnastics, and determine the extent to which these organizations were complicit in the criminal or negligent behavior of their employees relative to sexual abuse;
  • Identifying and recommending solutions to the systemic failures at the USOC and national sports governing bodies, including USA Gymnastics, that allowed for pervasive sexual abuse to continue for decades;
  • Identifying actions that must be taken by the USOC and national sports governing bodies, including USA Gymnastics, to ensure increased transparency and protections for children, athletes and their families; and
  • Making findings and recommendations on any additional actions that may be necessary to hold USOC and USA Gymnastics accountable.