Olympic Reform Legislation Unanimously Passes House
Oct 01 2020
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed sweeping Olympic reform legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) – chairman and ranking member of the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee with jurisdiction and oversight of the health and safety of U.S. Olympic, Paralympic and amateur athletes. This legislation now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.
Sens. Moran and Blumenthal introduced S. 2330, the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act, in July of 2019 following an eighteen-month investigation into systemic abuse within the U.S. Olympic movement. The joint investigation was launched the day after Larry Nassar was sentenced to prison and included four subcommittee hearings, interviews with Olympic athletes and survivors, and the retrieval of over 70,000 pages of documents.
“The very institutions charged with protecting these athletes failed countless times, choosing to ignore or cover up abuse rather than defend and protect athletes and survivors,” said Sens. Moran and Blumenthal. “Today, the House passed our Olympic reform legislation advancing critical changes and effective safeguards to protect our Olympic, Paralympic and amateur athletes. Through the input and guidance of the courageous survivors – athletes who traveled to Washington, shared their stories and demanded change – we were able to advance this legislation through Congress.”
“We are grateful to our colleagues in the House who advocated for this bill, and we look forward to the president signing this legislation into law to institute and enforce these reforms so all athletes can participate in the sport they love without fear of abuse,” the Senators continued.
U.S. Representatives Ted Lieu (D-Cal.), John Curtis (R-Utah), Dianna DeGette (D-Colo.) and Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) introduced the companion legislation in the House.
This bill was cosponsored in the Senate by U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
Previous Action on S. 2330, the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act:
- The legislation was introduced on July 30, 2019. Read Sens. Moran and Blumenthal’s editorial announcing their sweeping legislation in USA TODAY here.
- The legislation was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on November 13, 2019.
- The legislation unanimously passed the Senate on August 4, 2020.
The Moran-Blumenthal Investigative Report & Legislation:
- Click here to read the senators’ full investigative report, findings and recommendations.
- Click here to read final bill text.
- Click here to read a one-page summary of the bill.
- Click here to read a section-by-section summary of the bill.
S. 2330, the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act:
- Empowers athletes by giving them a seat at the decision-making table, and significantly increases athlete representation on governing boards, committees and panels within National Governing Bodies (NBGs) and the USOPC to help identify problematic policies and practices faster, while prioritizing athlete-centric solutions;
- Bolsters resources for the U.S. Center for SafeSport while ensuring its independence from the USOPC and the NGBs;
- Requires relevant SafeSport training, so athletes know how to identify abuse, and so adults know how to prevent it;
- Strengthens and codifies reporting mandates for adults with knowledge of any allegation of child abuse of an amateur athlete;
- Protects individuals who report emotional, physical or sexual abuse of an athlete from retaliation within the Olympic movement;
- Promotes safety by requiring NGBs to enforce SafeSport sanctions and directing SafeSport to maintain a public list of all barred coaches and individuals;
- Bolsters USOPC auditing and reporting requirements, so that Congress can better provide regular oversight; and
- Establishes legislative mechanisms by which Congress can dissolve the Board of the USOPC and decertify NGBs.
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