TOPEKA, Kan. – President Trump has signed an Olympic reform bill introduced by Senator Moran (R-Kan.).
Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) says President Donald Trump has signed into law Olympic reform legislation that was introduced by himself and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) – chairman and ranking member of the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee with jurisdiction and oversight over the health and safety of U.S. Olympic, Paralympic and amateur athletes.
Sen. Moran said he and Blumenthal introduced the bill, the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act, in July of 2019 after an 18-month investigation into systemic abuse within the Olympics. He said the investigation was launched the day after LarryNassar was sentenced to prison and included four subcommittee hearings, interviews with athletes and survivors and the retrieval of over 70,000 pages of documents.
“We are pleased to announce that the president signed our sweeping Olympic reform legislation into law,” Moran and Blumenthal said. “This law would not be possible were it not for the athletes and courageous survivors who traveled to Washington shared their stories and demanded change so that future generations of athletes can train, compete and succeed without fear of abuse. We are grateful to our colleagues, athlete advocates and the many survivors who helped create and advocate for this law to bring about change in the Olympic movement and allowed us to keep our promise to the survivors to get this bill across the finished line.”
“We will make certain this law is being implemented to the fullest extent and continue to hold accountable the institutions that have the responsibility to keep our athletes safe,” Moran and Blumenthal continued.
According to Moran, U.S. Representatives Ted Lieu (D-Cal.), John Curtis (R-Utah), Dianna DeGette (D-Colo.) and Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) introduced companion legislation in the House.
Sen. Moran said the bill was co-sponsored in the Senate by U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
According to Moran, the previous action on the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic and Amateur Athletes Act are as follows:
- The legislation was introduced on July 30, 2019. Read Sen. Moran and Sen. Blumenthal’s joint editorial announcing their sweeping legislation in USA TODAY here.
- The legislation was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on November 13, 2019.
- The legislation unanimously passed the Senate on August 4, 2020.
- The legislation unanimously passed the House of Representatives on October 1, 2020.
Sen. Moran said the bill signed by Trump includes the following:
- Empowers athletes by giving them a seat at the decision-making table, and significantly increases athlete representation on governing boards, committees and panels within National Governing Bodies (NBGs) and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to help identify problematic policies and practices faster, while prioritizing athlete-centric solutions;
- Bolsters resources for the U.S. Center for SafeSport while ensuring its independence from the USOPC and the NGBs;
- Requires relevant SafeSport training, so athletes know how to identify abuse, and so adults know how to prevent it;
- Strengthens and codifies reporting mandates for adults with knowledge of any allegation of child abuse of an amateur athlete;
- Protects individuals who report emotional, physical or sexual abuse of an athlete from retaliation within the Olympic movement;
- Promotes safety by requiring NGBs to enforce SafeSport sanctions and directing SafeSport to maintain a public list of all barred coaches and individuals;
- Bolsters USOPC auditing and reporting requirements, so that Congress can better provide regular oversight; and
- Establishes legislative mechanisms by which Congress can dissolve the Board of the USOPC and decertify NGBs. in July of 2019 following an eighteen-month investigation into systemic abuse within the U.S. Olympic movement. The joint investigation was launched the day after Larry Nassar was sentenced to prison and included four subcommittee hearings, interviews with Olympic athletes and survivors, and the retrieval of over 70,000 pages of documents.