As the misdeeds of the US Olympic Committee subsidiary US Gymnastics saga unfolds, the Committee's executive (sadly not its owner, a board representative) has stated In response to questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about allegations of mishandled abuse complaints by USA Gymnastics, (not to mention USA Swimming, US Speedskating, USA Judo and USA Taekwondo) that a:
a flawed culture, where the brand, the sport, and their (competitive) results are given a higher priority than the health and well-being of athletes" for leaving children at risk. That is what we need to change.
Perhaps as one teeny positive, it was the USA Gymnastics board chair who released a statement where he, Paul Parilla
also pledged support for Feinstein's legislation while pointing out the organization is conducting its own internal review of its child protection policies.
USA Gymnastics is appalled that anyone would exploit a young athlete or child in the manner alleged, and we offer our sincere and heartfelt regrets and sympathies to any athlete who was harmed during his or her gymnastics career.
Of course culture is not an excuse for violating any individual and rules of law. That the organization has a board that permits a culture that in-turn permits violating individuals means only that that board and that organization owes substantial debt to those who have been harmed and, after restitution, should be shut down.
I would pose that the Olympic Committee governing body must do more than acknowledge "flawed culture" but it should rethink its structures even to the point it starts over. I would begin with ensuring that the governing bodies of its subsidiaries not be filled with sports figures alone but with individuals from other sectors that clearly have standards and values that go beyond what has been demonstrated to drive sporting activities. And, if the Olympic Committee won't take this step, then clearly the body that gives it its charter, the US Senate, must.