Colorado Springs

Olympians demand change within USOC Board

Olympians draft scathing letter to USOC Board

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Make changes, or get out. 

That's the message in an explosive letter from the USOC Athletes' Advisory Council to USOC Board of Directors. 

The letter includes a series of five questions to Olympic Board Members, chief of which: "Does the USOC Board of Directors believe that the USOC have an ethical responsibility to protect the well-being of elite athletes, especially in terms of protecting them from physical, emotional, and sexual abuse?"

The USOC Athletes' Advisory Council, or AAC, is the only established group to be the voice of the athletes. 

Demand for answers reached a fever pitch just prior to the PyeongChang Olympics, with several teleconference calls between CEO Scott Blackmun and the AAC during the Games. 

"Why is the Olympic Board not committed to looking for the core problem?" asked Eli Bremer, a pentathlete, who competed in the 2008 Olympics.  "We want to know why the CEO and board of directors did not see the pattern and why they didn't take action?  This has been a systemic problem that's been known for years." 

Calls for change come on the heels of years of abuse -- most recently, the hundreds of highly-publicized sexual abuse cases at the hands of USA Gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar. 

"We now know that the CEO knew about sexual assaults and did nothing to bring them to light," said Bremer. 

Now, new allegations of similar abuse are surfacing within USA Swimming and Taekwondo. 

Bremer and other athletes with the AAC are demanding that the board completely, but gradually, be changed -- and CEO Scott Blackmun, resign. 

A message left with Blackmun Tuesday afternoon had not been returned as of late Tuesday evening.

The letter -- which the USOC Board acknowledge it did receive -- demands a response by midnight, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, or AAC members plan to ask the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to review the Amateur Sports Act, which stipulates oversight of Olympic Athletes. 

To read the document, click here

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