As Congressman Miller Pushes the FBI on USA Swimming Sexual Abuse, What Happened With the Olympic Athlete Ombudsman?

Published October 23rd, 2014, Uncategorized

by Irvin Muchnick

 

Congressman George Miller is actively investigating USA Swimming sexual abuse and cover-up. Depending on how you interpret the documents published here last night, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating, too.

In the current vacuum of hard information, some of the more interesting questions revolve around John Ruger, the U.S. Olympic Committee’s recently retired athlete ombudsman. We’ve heard the gamut of opinion on Ruger, including that he was a good guy who tried his best to advocate on behalf of the talent (most of them underpaid or not paid at all) to the phony nonprofit for whose brand they labored (and which is staffed with mostly overpaid and redundant administrative professionals and paraprofessionals).

Of course, Concussion Inc. is interested in all that – the review of Ruger’s job performance – but not merely as much as we’re interested in the narrative of his departure. See “Developing: Departure of USOC Athlete Ombudsman Raises Questions of Timing With Federal Investigations,” October 5, https://concussioninc.net/?p=9494.

According to some D.C. sources, Olympic apparatchiks spirited Ruger away via a generous retirement package just as he was poised to talk openly to investigators.

The terms of Ruger’s severance should be public, and as always, we’re seeking to make them public. An insider is said to be preparing a memorandum on the disappearing of Ruger. That document should be in circulation in the near future.

Ruger did not respond to the email we sent him several weeks ago. Next, we’ll try dropping the text of this story into his Facebook inbox. The simplest way for him to allay the concerns projected here would be to address them with the facts — assuming those facts contradict percolating suspicions.

Ruger’s successor, current USOC athlete ombudswoman Sara Clark, did not respond today to a request for comment.*

*UPDATE FRIDAY 10/24: I apologize for above mistakenly calling Sara Clark the new athlete ombudswoman.  She is John Ruger’s former assistant. The new ombudsperson, I’m told, is Kathleen Wallace.