Despite resigning amid heavy criticism for his handling of allegations (eventually proven true) of widespread abuse within gymnastics and other Olympic sports, former U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun received severance pay of $2.4 million.
The New York Times reports that the severance pay was released in a July 3rd financial report from the Olympic body, which has now rebranded itself as the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, or U.S.O.P.C.
Blackmun had been CEO of the organization since 2010. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in January of 2018 and resigned a month later. He’s taken significant criticism for his action (or inaction) in the various abuse scandals within Olympic sports. In particular, the Times story references a report that said Blackmun knew about accusations against former sports doctor Larry Nassar for more than a year before they became public. The report says Blackmun did nothing to investigate the reports or stop Nassar, who was later publicly accused of abuse, pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison in what became a major scandal for USA Gymnastics and the former USOC.
Blackmun has previously taken criticism from the Committee to Restore Integrity, a collection of former Olympians and sports stakeholders. The Committee to Restore Integrity responded to Blackmun’s reported severance this week, saying it was “outraged” at the payment.
“The Committee to Restore Integrity to the USOC is outraged that the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee Board would award any severance to disgraced former CEO, Scott Blackmun, let alone $2.4 million,” the organization’s press release says. “Scott Blackmun is under FBI investigation, he covered up for a serial child molester, he has been removed from the International Council of Arbitration for Sport, and has been called out for leadership failures by two major reports. More than 150 Olympians and Paralympians are now calling for USOPC Board and staff resignations for breach of their fiduciary duty. They are joined by much of the athlete-survivor and abuse-expert community.”