USA Gymnastics CEO to Apologize to Larry Nassar Victims at House Subcommittee

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The questions from Congress often centered around a few key topics: public banned lists for sporting organizations, background checks for coaches and the lengthy 3-year delay between the 2014 USOC approving the creation of the U.S. Center for SafeSport and the opening of the Center in 2017.

"Is that sufficient?" Rep. Diane DeGette (D-Colo.) asked.

"Honestly, I'm not reassured by your testimony, because I don't hear a sense of urgency", a visibly angry Rep.

Documents obtained by the Indianapolis Star have painted a troubling picture of USA Gymnastics' complicity in aiding disgraced former team doctor Larry Nassar, guilty of staggering sexual misconduct with young gymnasts.

"Why should I take confidence from what you're saying today when you look at this timeline?"

What's more, thanks to USA Gymnastics' seeming willingness to foist Nassar's deceptions on the unsuspecting public, he was able to maintain his impeccable reputation for 14 months after he was first investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for his misconduct.

She was joined by the top executives from the national governing bodies of swimming, taekwondo and volleyball at the hearing looking into whether they have done enough to protect their athletes from abusers.

Representatives pressed Lyons about the USOC's ability to fund the Center, noting that USOC revenue is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

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"I feel like they haven't lifted a finger, I feel like they just want to move on", Duval told ThinkProgress by phone from Dallas, where she was following updates from the hearing. She said that where at this time a year ago, the Center was dealing with 20 to 30 reports a month, it is now dealing with 20 to 30 reports a week. She did not take questions from reporters after the hearing.

Pfohl also affirmed the independence of the organization, promising that incidents are investigated in an "independent, confidential and professional manner". She added that under new policies, officials are required to report sexual abuse claims to law enforcement officials.

On two separate occasions, Nassar and an attorney for USA Gymnastics crafted cover stories for his absence. Numerous abuse scandals have exposed insufficient communication and inconsistent policies across these sports organizations, with claims falling through the cracks. "We will do better".

Pfohl said SafeSport doesn't have the money it needs to investigate all reports as quickly as it should.

Lawmakers were particularly concerned about whether the organizations are adequately establishing a "culture change" and trying to reform their institutions rather than protecting them ― a major theme exposed by the Me Too and Time's Up movements.

"We must do better", Perry said.

Committee chair Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) noted that numerous athletes who've spoken out about their sexual misconduct experiences have said "the culture of medals and money won out over athletes' protection and safety".

Pfohl repeatedly promised that "athletes' safety comes first". Lyons said under oath that it was a top priority for the USOC to protect its athletes from sex abuse, and agreed that the USOC does, indeed, have the authority to do so - a direct contradiction to the party line the organization's took during a 2016 deposition.

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