The report names Hinchey as one of a handful of CEOs who will testify before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. The hearing will also include U.S. Olympic Committee acting CEO Susanne Lyons, USA Gymnastics CEO Kerry Perry, USA Taekwondo executive director Steve McNally and U.S. Center for SafeSport CEO Shellie Pfohl. It comes on the heels of a growing period of turmoil within organized sport, with huge numbers of athletes and former athletes coming forward with allegations that coaches or other authority figures sexually abused them.
The U.S. government has been investigating national sports federations since at least the beginning of this year. A Congressional committee sent letters to USA Swimming, USA Gymnastics, USA Taekwondo and the USOC (along with Michigan State University) back in January, on the heels of the high-profile trial of Larry Nassar, a doctor who admitted to sexually abusing athletes under the guise of medical treatment.
Congress also passed a law changing the SafeSport system to set up the Center for SafeSport as the exclusive governing authority of all sexual abuse allegations within Olympic sports and requiring sports members to report any allegations of sexual misconduct that they hear or see.
USA Swimming’s former executive, the now-deceased Chuck Wielgus, took heavy criticism for the organization’s response (or lack of response) to allegations of sexual abuse during his tenure. Hinchey took over as CEO last summer. At the time, we asked him how he would lead the organization in the wake of those criticisms, and Hinchey told us he was still getting up to speed with the issue facing USA Swimming and couldn’t give specifics. We’ve continued to ask for a chance to talk to Hinchey about the matter, but have not yet been granted an interview.
Hinchey isn’t the only CEO testifying who is relatively new to the job – in fact, none of the testifying CEOs have been in their posts longer than a year and a half. Perry is brand new to USA Gymnastics as of December 2017. Lyons took over the USOC just under three months ago after Scott Blackmun resigned. McNally took over USA Taekwondo last fall. Pfohl is actually the longest-tenured of the bunch, and was only named to her post in November of 2016, the year the Center was officially founded.