Integrity Committee Makes 12 Recommendations For USOC

The Committee to Restore Integrity has published a list of recommendations for the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) to “create an athletes first culture at the U.S. Olympic movement.”

The Integrity Committee is made up of a number of Olympians, Paralympians and other sports stakeholders, including several key swimming-related names: the committee is led by Olympic swimmer Nancy Hogshead-Makarand also includes attorney Bob Allardwho has represented (and is currently representing) multiple athletes in lawsuits against either the USOC or USA Swimming.

The committee laid out its recommendations in a ten-page document that you can view in full here. We’ve included a very basic description of the twelve items below:

  1. More athlete representation on the USOC Board of Directors.
    1. The committee calls for 50% of the Board seats to go to athletes, plus compensation for athlete reps, among other things.
  2. Better whistleblower protections for athletes.
  3. The USOC must use more authority in compelling national governing bodies (like USA Swimming) to follow USOC and other rules for athlete safety.
  4. Revise bylaws to allow athletes due process.
  5. Protect athletes’ ability to compete while involved in legal disputes or arbitration with the USOC or a national governing body.
  6. Create an athlete advocate position within the USOC.
  7. Establish an “office of inspector general” within the USOC.
  8. Change the arbitration process to lower filing fees for athletes, find more experienced/expert arbitrators, and make sure arbitrators are impartial. On the other hand, the committee calls for arbitrators to no longer be able to charge their normal hourly rate, but rather hear disputes for “a modest honorarium for the honor and privilege of donating their services to a good cause.”
  9. Consider other bylaw changes the committee has proposed.
  10. The USOC cutting ties with what the committee calls “anti-athlete law firms, including those that participated in the Nassar cover up.”
  11. Cut staff size and compensation levels for USOC employees to fall in line with other non-profits.
  12. Personnel changes, especially of current employees and officials who the committee believes “participated in and reinforced [former CEO Scott] Blackmun’s USOC failed culture.”

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5 years ago

Somehow I don’t feel better knowing that a plaintiff’s attorney is dictating to the USOC its next action steps. And where, pray tell, is the money supposed to come from to support these changes? Instead of pontificating and suing everything that moves, Allard and Hogshead-Makar’s time would be better spent either fundraising for the USOC and/or athletes, or lobbying Congress for the funding necessary to improve services to Olympians and aspiring Olympians.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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