US Congress panel to grill Olympic officials on preventing sex abuse

Kerry Perry second left testified at a House of Representatives Subcommittee yesterday

"I know we can do better and we will do better".

"I want to apologize to all who were harmed by the horrific acts of Larry Nassar", Perry said. In a review released in June, Daniels said USA Gymnastics needed a "complete cultural change" after not doing enough to educate its staff, members and athletes about protecting children from sexual abuse and failing to ensure that safeguards were being followed.

Representatives from USA Volleyball, USA Swimming, the United States Olympic Committee, USA Taekwondo, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Center for SafeSport appeared before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee as congressional investigations continue amid a growing number of sexual misconduct allegations.

Despite the investigation, USA Gymnastics did not add Nassar to its list of people banned from the sport.

In fact, members on the panel of US sports executives did apologize to the victims, whose numbers grow nearly daily and whose pain was most heart-wrenchingly displayed during the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, the Michigan State doctor who also worked for the USA gymnastics team.

Lyons said that mindset will change. "I would like to apologize once again to those individuals and their families".

"Participation in sport should offer physical, social and emotional benefits, but for some, it has resulted in abuse and trauma that will negatively impact the rest of their lives", Hinchey said. Lyons took over the USOC just under three months ago after Scott Blackmun resigned.

The subcommittee started its probe in the wake of a sentencing hearing for Nassar, the former national medical coordinator for USA Gymnastics who admitted to using his position to molest his patients - most of whom were young female gymnasts.

Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber are among the high-profile gymnasts who went public as victims of Nassar's abuse.

Earlier this month, Michigan State University announced it had reached a $500 million settlement with 332 former victims.

She will speak as a witness at the hearing, called "Examining the Olympic Community's Ability to Protect Athletes from Sexual Abuse".

It was revealed yesterday that Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors Smith has filed a lawsuit against USA Swimming, alleging the governing body knew her former coach sexually abused her as a minor and covered it up.

An outside 2017 audit contracted by the U.S. Olympic Committee found that 43 of the 48 national governing bodies for sports had deficiencies in reporting abuses, such as inconsistent enforcement of criminal background checks, the document said. She said that where at this time past year, the Center was dealing with 20 to 30 reports a month, it is now dealing with 20 to 30 reports a week.

Pfohl said SafeSport was now receiving 20-30 complaints a week and needed additional staff to cope with the workload.

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., was blunt in explaining what troubled him: a perception that "the USOC is more concerned about its own reputation and about medals and money than it is about athlete safety".

The organization is facing dozens of lawsuits, accused of turning a blind eye to Nassar's years of abusing athletes.

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