The U.S. Olympic Committee announced some changes to its staff this week, touting the changes as focused on making the organization more responsive to athletes. But one of the organization’s chief critics, the Committee to Restore Integrity, immediately expressed “disappointment” that the reorganization didn’t include more major reforms.
The Associated Press reports that the USOC will hire Paralympic executive Rick Adams as its new chief of sport performance, and that chief of external affairs Patrick Sandusky will leave the organization. Adams will replace Alan Ashley, who was fired in late 2018 after a report revealed that he failed to take action for more than a year after hearing allegations of sexual abuse against former sports doctor Larry Nassar.
Sandusky is leaving his post for a senior vice president job at the Madison Square Garden Company, running communications for MLB’s New York Knicks and the NHL’s New York Rangers.
The Committee to Restore Integrity is a collection of former Olympians and sports stakeholders, notably including swimming Olympic gold medalist Nancy Hogshead-Makar and attorney Bob Allard, who has represented (and is currently representing) multiple athletes in lawsuits against either the USOC or USA Swimming. They released a statement Wednesday criticizing the restructure and continuing to call for further personnel changes, budget reductions and power shifting towards athletes.
The integrity committee liked the restructure to “re-organizing chairs on the deck of the Titanic.”
“The USOC leadership demonstrated today that they are incapable of reforming themselves in a meaningful way,” the integrity committee’s press release says. “Team Integrity continues to assert that athlete abuse will continue as long as athletes are left without substantial voting power in the organization, left without resources to shape their athletic career. The USOC is a national trust that is being abused and misused by incompetent leadership. Team Integrity continues to stand by our statements that the USOC Board and senior leadership needs to change in order to end athlete abuse.”