At Congressional Hearing, U.S. Center for Safe Sport CEO Caught in Contradictions as Legislative Reform Debate Intensifies

“Congressional Commission Proposals to Curb Sports Coach Sexual Abuse Have Bay Area Roots” … at Beyond Chron
March 19, 2024
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“Is Real Reform at Hand to Curb Youth Coach Sexual Abuse?”, at Salon, March 10,

“‘Irvin Muchnick: Parents have the power to compel Congress to act to protect young athletes,’ Chicago Tribune op-ed,” March 13,

“Congressional Commission Proposals to to Curb Sports Coach Sexual Abuse Have Bay Area Roots,” at Beyond Chron, March 19,


The swimming news site SwimSwam has valuable new reporting that bears on the groundbreaking new report by the congressional Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Parlympics. The commission’s recommendations have two key provisions: 1) take grassroots youth sports programs out of the hands of the Olympic movement; and 2) make the quasi-Olympic entity that investigates and adjudicates claims of abuse by coaches, the U.S. Center for Safe Sport, an independent and federally funded agency.

In “SafeSport CEO Faces Questions About Alleged Rapist Robert Griswold at Congressional Hearing,” the swimming news site focuses on the testimony last Thursday of Ju’Riese Colón, the Safe Sport head, at a hearing of the oversight and investigation subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Nearly two years ago, Safe Sport suspended Paralympic swimming champion Robert Griswold amidst accusations that he raped fellow athlete Parker Egbert. The details of that case are disturbing enough, but what is most significant about the hearing is that it offered new data points fueling dissatisfaction with the center and the call for systematic reforms. As SwimSwam accurately put it:


“Colón said SafeSport’s $20 million of funding from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) does not disincentivize national governing bodies (NGBs) from reporting misconduct. But just a few minutes later, former NWSL soccer player and current chair of the U.S. Soccer Federation Participant Safety Task Force Mana Shim pointed out that NGBs pay a higher fee for bringing more cases to SafeSport, completely contradicting Colon’s previous statement.”


Read all the details – including the differences in reporting of violations by Safe Sport and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, at


Irvin Muchnick is author of UNDERWATER: The Greed-Soaked Tale of Sexual Abuse in USA Swimming and Around the Globe, which will be published later this year by ECW Press.


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