Senators Introduce Bill Requiring U.S. Amateur Athletic Organizations, Members to Report Sexual Abuse

Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) today introduced legislation to require amateur athletics governing bodies to immediately report sex-abuse allegations to local or federal law enforcement, or a child-welfare agency designated by the Justice Department.

The bill stems from recent allegations of sexual abuse made against personnel involved with USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming and USA Taekwondo.

The bill would also amend the Ted Stevens Amateur and Olympic Sports Act, which governs amateur athletics governing bodies, to make it safe and easy for victims to report abuse and mandate oversight of member gymnasiums to ensure strong sexual-abuse prevention policies are implemented. For example, USA Gymnastics would implement and enforce policies to ensure coaches and personnel are trained in sexual abuse prevention.

Senator seeks tougher law after USA Gymnastics' handling of sex abuse cases

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced Friday that she will introduce legislation that would require Olympic national governing bodies to immediately report sexual abuse allegations to authorities.

Feinstein, D-California, said the legislation is in response to USA Gymnastics' handling of such allegations.

"News reports, civil and criminal cases, as well as discussions I’ve had with sex abuse victims, appear to reveal systemic problems within USA Gymnastics that have allowed allegations of sexual abuse to go unreported," Feinstein said in a statement Friday. "I met with some of the victims and it was one of the most powerful, emotional meetings I’ve had during my 24 years in the Senate. The abuse these women suffered will stay with them the rest of their lives."

Lawsuit against banned Huntington Beach gymnastics coach Don Peters, doctor Larry Nassar alleges sexual abuse

The suit by the former U.S. national team member also alleges that SCATS for more than a decade used its global reputation as a launch pad for Olympic and World Championship gymnasts to recruit underage gymnasts and place them in vulnerable situations that led to their sexual abuse at the hands of Peters and USA Gymnastics women’s national team physician Dr. Larry Nassar.

The gymnast said Nassar sexually abused her multiple times during U.S. national team trips and training camps. Nassar used “the guise of care, athletic training, osteopathy, and kinesiology to normalize intimate, inappropriate, and sexually abusive contact.”

The suit also charges USA Gymnastics, the sport’s national governing body; Bela and Martha Karolyi, both coaches of Olympic gold medal-winning teams; and the last three USA Gymnastic presidents created environments that enabled Nassar to sexually abuse numerous under-aged female gymnasts.

National Champion Missy Erickson Speaks Out About Her Sexual Abuse

Missy Erickson says that as a junior racer she endured three years of sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse from a man connected to her cycling club. Now 26, the multi-time national track champion hopes that her story will increase awareness of the issue and help young athletes in similar situations recognize signs of abuse

Sex, Lies, and Leadership

In the United Kingdom, the last month has brought harrowing reports about child abuse in youth soccer teams, where promising young athletes attempt to play their way to the professional level. At last count, 98 amateur and professional clubs in the UK were implicated in some way.

While the public has been shocked by the revelations, the affected clubs’ leaders may not have been – at least not in every case. After all, many clubs had previously heard allegations of sexual abuse of young players, but had chosen to ignore them or cover them up, at times even doling out hush money to the victims – all for the sake of protecting their own reputations.

Silence in Graham James scandal deafening after soccer, gymnastics sex-abuse revelations

It has been the most enduring — and troubling — question in the sickening saga of Graham James right from the beginning: did hockey’s most notorious pedophile really act alone?

No accomplices? No enablers? No one covering up for him? No other hockey coachesjust like him sexually abusing the young players in their charges?

No one else? Really?

That’s the narrative Canadian hockey authorities would certainly like all of us to believe: "move along, folks... nothing more to see here. And, don't forget to stop by the box office on your way out."

But it’s also almost certainly nonsense, as we were all reminded once again this week with new and spiralling abuse scandals from the worlds of soccer and gymnastics strongly suggesting that if James was truly a lone wolf, both he and the institution (religion?) of Canadian hockey are unique in the world of sport.

Football's darkest hour could be masculinity's brightest dawn


The football sex abuse scandal is the game’s darkest hour.

Yesterday, sources within Operation Hydrant, the national police body coordinating historical sex abuse claims, announced that 55 professional and non-league clubs have so far been named by 350 victims claiming they were abused.

The NSPCC said on Saturday it expected the number of calls to its hotline to pass 1,000. 

Chelsea FC accused of paying child sex abuse victim to keep quiet

London (CNN)The child sex abuse scandal that has rocked the English football world has taken a new twist after a former player accused one of the world's biggest clubs of buying his silence.

Gary Johnson, a player with Chelsea during the 1970s and 1980s, alleges the Premier League club paid him £50,000 (about $63,540) and asked him to sign a confidentiality agreement last year to prevent any talk of his alleged abuse by former scout Eddie Heath.

Pedophilia Scandal Sends Shock Waves Through U.K. Soccer

In mid-November, a former professional soccer player told a British newspaper that as a child, he had been sexually abused for years by a well-respected youth coach. The player said he knew other players had experienced the same thing — and that a culture of silence kept the abusers out of the spotlight.

But he wasn't keeping the secret anymore.

"I want to get it out and give other people an opportunity to do the same," Andy Woodward told The Guardian. "I want to give people strength. ... I'm convinced there is an awful lot more to come out."

His interview unleashed a flood.

When I started talking to Barry Bennell’s victims, I had no idea how deep abuse ran in football

Over the past few days I have been looking through some of the yellowed newspaper cuttings of the Barry Bennell case, snipped out from the pages of the Crewe Chronicle, and there is one in particular to which I keep returning, from 13 June 1998, with the headline: “We could not believe Bennell guilty – Gradi.”