The Senators previously called on Blackmun to resign in light of reports he was aware of sexual abuse allegations against Larry Nassar.
Shaheen and Ernst’s bipartisan resolution to establish a special committee to investigate the USOC and USA Gymnastics has growing bipartisan support.
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) issued the following statements in response to the U.S. Olympic Committee’s (USOC) announcement that CEO Scott Blackmun will resign:
“Scott Blackmun’s resignation is long overdue,” said Senator Shaheen. “The U.S. Olympic Committee must now bring on new leadership determined to deliver answers and accountability regarding how Larry Nassar was able to freely abuse young girls for decades, as well as answers to questions about abuse in other Olympic programs. It’s clear that the culture at the U.S. Olympic Committee desperately needs to change so that it prioritizes the health and safety of U.S. athletes. In the meantime, Senator Ernst and I will continue to urge the Senate to establish a special committee to investigate the U.S. Olympic Committee and its governing bodies, so that our athletes will get the answers they deserve and so we can ensure the safety of future Olympians.”
“The culture of silence and negligence has plagued the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics for far too long,” said Senator Ernst. “Scott Blackmun’s resignation was greatly needed. Now the USOC has the opportunity for new leadership and to help us get to the bottom of how this organization repeatedly failed to protect our young athletes from Larry Nassar and hold persons in positions of power accountable. I will continue pushing for these answers with Senator Shaheen as well as urging our colleagues to move forward and create a special committee in the Senate to investigate the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics.”
Shaheen and Ernst called on Blackmun to resign earlier this month following reports that he was aware of sexual abuse allegations against ex-team USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar in 2015. The Senators have called for a special committee to investigate the USOC and USA Gymnastics regarding how Nassar was allowed to sexually abuse female gymnasts over decades. Their bipartisan resolution to establish the special committee has growing bipartisan support with 17 cosponsors including Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Steve Daines (R-MT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Tim Scott (R-SC), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Richard Burr (R-NC), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Tina Smith (D-MN).