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Report: USOC Ignored Warnings About Sexual Abuse

The governing body for U.S. swimming sent letters to the U.S. Olympic Committee in 2004 and 2005 asking the sport umbrella group to create policies to prevent sexual abuse by coaches—but the USOC didn’t pursue the idea. In a report Friday, USA Today includes documents showing that in 1999, Bob Colarossi, the then-president of USA Gymnastics, also made such a request, warning that the USOC wasn't doing enough to protect its athletes. “This is not an issue that can be wished away,” Colarossi wrote. “The USOC can either position itself as a leader in the protection of young athletes or it can wait until it is forced to deal with the problem under much more difficult circumstances.” Instead of instituting any policies, the USOC reportedly referred USA Swimming to a company that performed background checks. USA Gymnastics in the midst of a wide-ranging sexual-abuse scandal, one similar to the controversy that upended USA Swimming just years before.