The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating several U.S. Olympic sport organizations over sexual abuse and “potential financial and business misconduct,” per an original report from the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ reports that the Department of Justice is “pursuing multiple wide-ranging criminal investigations” into Olympic sports, and sent grand jury subpeonas to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
Sport governance in the United States Olympic system has come increasingly under fire over the last year, especially spurred on by the growing list of sexual abuse scandals in organized sport. USA Gymnastics has been a main target, especially after former gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar admitted to sexually abusing athletes under the guise of treatment and was sentenced to prison, effectively for the remainder of his life.
According to The Hill, the Department of Justice is looking into the handling of abuse allegations by former executives of USA Gymnastics and USA Taekwondo. In addition, the Department of Justice is investigating the FBI for its handling of abuse reports against Nassar, per The Hill.
The USOPC is the rebranded title for the United States Olympic Committee or USOC. Former CEO Scott Blackmun resigned in early 2018 citing health concerns, but the organization drew harsh criticism for giving Blackmun $2.4 million in severance pay despite reports that he had failed to act on accusations against Nassar for more than a year before they became public. Former golf executive Sarah Hirschland was eventually hired as Blackmun’s successor.