Protecting Athletes from Predators – Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act Gains Momentum
Athletes for Equity in Sport (“AES”) announced yesterday that it supports the action of the U.S. Congress in passing S. 2330, the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act of 2020.
“This action by Congress provides significant financial and institutional support to all Olympic and Paralympic Sport athletes by providing further protections from sexual predation and by enhancing oversight of the process currently in use through the various Governing Bodies of sports, and The U.S. Center for SafeSport.
“There have been numerous situations where athletes’ complaints have languished without action, and others where complaints resulted in summary punishment without any fair and equitable investigation or exercise of rights afforded to those impacted. AES sees both behaviors as counter-productive to the protection of the athletes and furtherance of the principles of fair and honorable sports participation.
“The new appropriations by Congress provide a necessary stream of funding to allow full and fair investigations, and where warranted, other appropriate actions to protect all participating or affected athletes as the original Congressional action to authorize SafeSport anticipated. It is a strong statement by our legislators that the horrific behaviors that were associated with the 2017 gymnastics scandal (Nasser) should never recur.
“Athletes should not be ignored when they express fear and concern, and Governing Body (NGB or LAO) administrations and related entities should not be sheltered when they fail to take action on reports resulting in father harm to those they are supposed to protect. In this context, the oversight implied by the funding and other provisions of S 2330 strengthen the safeguards for athletes and will supply much needed equity and fairness to all involved.”