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New report critical of USOC "silence" on Larry Nassar allegations

Jodi Westrick
Michigan Radio

The U.S. Olympic Committee has fired chief of sport performance Alan Ashley in the wake of an independent report that said neither he nor former CEO Scott Blackmun elevated concerns about theLarry Nassar sexual abuse allegations when they were first reported to them.

The 233-page independent reportwas released Monday. It detailed an overall lack of response when the USOC leaders first heard about the Nassar allegations from the then-president of USA Gymnastics, Steve Penny.

Blackmun resigned in February because of health concerns.

The report says the USOC took no action between first hearing of the allegations in July 2015 and September 2016, when the Indianapolis Star published an account of Nassar's sex abuse.

The report concludes that lack of action allowed Nassar to abuse dozens more girls over the 14 months of silence.

The USOC released a statement, admitting to failing Nassar's victims, adding that "we must do more, and we will do more.”

“This year, the USOC has already taken important actions to strengthen athlete safeguards and help the USOC be more effective in our mission to empower and support athletes,” said USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland, who joined the USOC in August 2018. “Sexual abuse, harassment and discrimination have no place in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic community."

An attorney representing more than 180 of Larry Nassar's victims calls the report "shocking."

"It is a stinging indictment of the highest levels of the leadership of the United States Olympic Committee for their role in the cover-up of the largest sex abuse scandal in the history of sports," says attorney John Manly.  

Manly is calling for a Congressional investigation into the USOC and USA Gymnastics.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.