To quote from an emphatic email reply sent by a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee board of directors to multiple recipients, and copied to the USOC’s CEO, in 2014: “Here we go again. This sounds like the same old BS. This is no longer in our purview. ... This seems like something (USA Taekwondo) needs to address. Allowing a potential sexual predator to continue to coach without having an investigation and conclusion is unacceptable. And if the Coach (sic) is innocent, that also needs to be established conclusively. Any thoughts as to how to respond, given that it is out of our jurisdiction at this point?’’
If not the board and the CEO, then who?
The board member, who served this year in the capacity as interim chief executive officer after the necessary resignation of Scott Blackmun, has been named (by the board) to become the new chairwoman Jan. 1.
Instead, Susanne Lyons must decline the title, which has a four-year term, and she and the other 14 remaining board members should resign, effective immediately.
Longtime board chairman Larry Probst, up to his chair in the mess, announced in September he would step down at the end of this year.
All of them have been smeared, stained and sullied by a series of the worst scandals in the history of the United States Olympic movement.
And if they won’t resign, Congress should repeal the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act of 1978, which granted the USOC infinite power, and start fresh, or get rid of an Olympic governing body entirely.
Here we go again. Enough of the USOC BS.
A commissioned, independent 233-page report, conducted by a prominent Boston law firm, was released Monday and stated that Blackmun and Alan Ashley, chief of sports performance, covered up for more than a year sexual abuse accusations against gymnastics team doctor/monster Larry Nassar.
Blackmun resigned in February because of “health issues.’’
Ashley was fired Monday.
The departures of Blackmun, Probst and Ashley, and various heads of sports associations, are not sufficient punishment. Out with all the rascals.
More than 150 girls and young women alleged that USA Gymnastics and the USOC fully failed to protect them from Nassar, and permitted a reprehensive environment to breed and persist, and covered up, for years. Six sports bodies under the USOC umbrella, including taekwondo and swimming, have been embroiled in episodes of sexual charges asserted against coaches in the past decade.
This international disgrace and dishonor isn’t over, but it’s got to be stopped even if it’s too late for too many, and even if the action means the end of the USOC in America and as one of the most famous and important entities in and to Colorado Springs.
The USOC has blotted out the sky over Pikes Peak.
Everybody who has driven in the shadow of that fancy six-story building at 27 South Tejon should consider the consequences of activities in the facility and by its inhabitants, and others publicly and privately responsible for a 30-year, $24 million deal that allows Colorado Springs to call itself — proudly, it seemed, in 2010 — “The Official Hometown of the USOC.’’
Now, the headquarters houses the USOC Hall of Shame.
In early February, amid the Nassar category-10 storm and on the eve of the Winter Olympics, I reached out to Mark Jones, the USOC’s vice president of communications, and told him I was writing a column demanding that Blackmun resign because of his role, and lack of leadership, in the scandalous behavior in USA Gymnastics.
Jones, as expected, defended his boss, who underwent prostate cancer surgery Jan. 26 and was recovering at a Denver hospital at the time. Jones declined to put me in touch with Blackmun, and we agreed on a conference call involving Gazette editor Vince Bzdek two days later. In the meantime, I heard that Blackmun and Jones were trying to quash the column, which was not quashed.
Surprisingly, the follow-up telephone call featured a fourth person — board member Lyons.
It is well to remember that one of her board cronies collecting cash from donors, sponsors, TV networks and so many other income sources was saying that Blackmun was doing “a phenomenal job.’’
During the call, in which Jones and Lyons maintained that everything said by them must be off the record, Lyons acknowledged that the USOC board and CEO hadn’t always reacted correctly or swiftly.
For instance, they agreed that choosing not to send Blackmun or any other USOC representatives to support the gymnasts at the Nassar trial was completely wrong. But they declared that Blackmun and the board were a major part of the solution, not the problem.
Lyons never said the problem was out of the board’s jurisdiction, her former excuse.
Seemed to me a lot of untruths were muttered that day.
Of course, Blackmun soon was gone, without speaking to anyone.
Lyons doesn’t deserve to be a major part of any solution or the USOC.
As Lyons her own self wrote four years ago, this sounds like the same old BS.