by Tim Joyce and Irvin Muchnick
Concussion Inc. has learned that the recent sudden retirement of United States Olympic Committee athlete ombudsman John Ruger may be linked to intensifying federal investigations of sexual abuse cover-ups and insurance irregularities at USA Swimming, U.S. Speedskating, and other USOC-sanctioned national amateur sports organizations.
The Chicago Tribune made Ruger’s retirement a line buried at the bottom of an article last month on the departure of USOC general counsel Rena Dershowitz. See http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/chi-20140917-usoc-general-counsel-story.html.
But sources inside USOC tell us that there is drama related to Ruger’s decision to leave the position he had held since 1999. He had faced withering criticism from athletes who accused the ombudsman of not being on their side in disputes with the Olympic establishment, over coach abuse and other issues. USOC officials were worried about what Ruger might say to outside investigators. It’s likely he didn’t retire of his own volition.
Ruger did not respond to an email sent to an address that appears to be good. Any possible future comment by him on this story will be reflected here.
We expect to have more in the coming week on this rapidly developing story.
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Published March 14th, 2014