by Irvin Muchnick
Congressman Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the committee’s bipartisan leadership have announced their intention to hold a hearing on sexual abuse in sports programs. The announcement, at https://energycommerce.house.gov/news/press-release/bipartisan-cmte-leaders-investigate-sexual-abuse-organized-sports/, specifically cites USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee, Michigan State University, USA Swimming, and USA Taekwondo.
USA Swimming is the program rife with abuse that is most familiar to readers of Concussion Inc. The committee leadership’s letter to this organization seems to be referring specifically to athletes who cited inaction, cover-up, and perjury by the group’s executive director, Chuck Wielgus, in a 2014 petition that resulted in blocking his induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame induction. (Wielgus held onto his $900,000-a-year job all the way up to his death last year.)
Of course, 2014 was also the year that now-retired Congressman George Miller, ranking member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, wrapped up a tepid and ineffectual 18-month investigation of USA Swimming. Let’s hope Congressman Walden fares better.
Here are some links to key articles from this quarter:
Also see “Should USA Swimming Go Down?”, the 2014 interview that reporting partner Tim Joyce I did with Outside magazine: https://www.outsideonline.com/1927681/should-usa-swimming-go-down.