U.S. Olympic Committee Accused of Allowing Sex Trafficking in New Lawsuit

Four women have filed a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Olympic Committee alleging the organization knowingly allowed two well-known Taekwondo coaches to engage in sex trafficking and abuse of athletes. In addition to the four plaintiffs, 44 other unnamed plaintiffs allege that USA Taekwondo was plagued by the same sexual abuse that rocked USA Gymnastics recently. The plaintiffs say Olympic gold medalist Steven Lopez and his brother, former Team USA coach Jean Lopez, raped or assaulted them while they were training with them and traveling around the world. “Much like a pimp who traffics women for money, the USOC was trafficking its athletes to known sexual abusers for money and medals,” attorney Rex Sharp, representing the plaintiffs, was quoted as saying by CNN. Jean Lopez was permanently banned by the USOC in early April, and Steven Lopez was “suspended pending further proceedings” on Monday. The U.S. Olympic Committee has said it is “aggressively exploring and implementing new ways to enhance athlete safety, and prevent and respond to abuse.”