REP LIEU APPLAUDS HOUSE PASSAGE OF BIPARTISAN BILL TO PROTECT ATHLETES FROM ABUSE
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County issued the following statement after the House passed the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic and Amateur Athletes Act, which he introduced along with Reps. Susan Brooks (R-IN), John Curtis (R-UT) and Diana DeGette (D-CO). The bill, which is a companion to Sens. Jerry Moran and Richard Blumenthal's legislation, will help protect athletes from sexual abuse by strengthening legal liability and accountability mechanisms for both the U.S. Olympic Committee and the governing bodies of specific sports. Additionally, it will create clear procedures and reporting requirements for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee to ensure athletes are protected moving forward. The bill will also ensure that allegations of sexual abuse against athletes can be independently investigated without the interference of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee or a national sports governing body.
"In the last few years, we've seen a reckoning in sports institutions over sexual abuse that was driven by brave athletes coming forward with their stories and demanding change," Rep. Lieu said."This bill, championed by Sens. Moran and Blumenthal in the Senate, and Reps. Brooks, Curtis and DeGette and me in the House, will help to make the future of elite and amateur sports more accountable and safe for athletes. It's clear that systematic problems at the U.S. Olympic Committee and in sports governing bodies fostered a culture where abuse was ignored or tolerated. Our bill will create better mechanisms of accountability and oversight for these powerful athletic institutions and ensure reporting processes are athlete-centered. My hope is that we'll bring lasting, positive change to the sports world. I am grateful for the broad bipartisan support for this bill and I look forward to seeing the President sign this valuable bill into law."