Shaheen & Ernst Announce Intention to Introduce Bipartisan Senate Resolution to Establish Select Committee to Investigate the Olympic Committee & USA Gymnastics Over Decades of Sexual Abuse

Yesterday, Shaheen sent a letter to leadership calling for a select committee to be established comprised of an equal number of men and women senators

Washington, DC—This afternoon, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) welcomed support from Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) to establish a Senate investigation of the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics regarding how team doctor Larry Nassar was given unsupervised access to female gymnasts, allowing him to sexually abuse them over decades. Yesterday, in a letter to Senate leadership, Shaheen called for a select committee to be established before the Winter Olympic Games begin in February and called for an equal number of male and female members. Today, Senators Shaheen and Ernst announced their intention to introduce a bipartisan resolution to establish this select committee:

“The U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics helped create the perfect environment for a child predator,” said Shaheen. “The criminal justice system has worked and Larry Nassar will be put away for the rest of his life, but it’s clear that not all responsible parties have been held accountable. We need to hold open public hearings and investigate how this sexual abuse was allowed to happen. I’m very encouraged to have Senator Ernst as a partner in this effort. Together, we’ll be urging broad bipartisan support for a Senate resolution to establish a select committee to conduct a thorough investigation to deliver answers and accountability.”

“Larry Nassar’s reprehensible crimes are on full display and while some justice has finally been served, there are a great deal of questions that still remain,” said Ernst. “The reality is, from what we know, this happened to over a hundred athletes over several decades, on the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics’ watch. A Select Committee dedicating its complete attention to USOC’s and USA Gymnastics’ role in this tragedy is imperative to holding the appropriate parties accountable and working to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

In her letter, Senator Shaheen specifically called for a select committee so that it can be solely focused on this inquiry. A select committee will also allow for equal representation of male and female senators, as no current standing committees have parity.

In addition, Senators Shaheen and Ernst are cosponsors of legislation introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein that requires amateur athletic associations, including USA Gymnastics, to report abuse to authorities. They have urged the House to follow the Senate in passing this important legislation.