The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has announced a $1.3 million grant to the Athlete Assistance Fund, aimed at providing financial assistance to gymnasts who were victims of sexual abuse within the sport.
The USOC is dealing with a growing scandal across Olympic sports, facing criticism that it ignored, covered up or failed to properly address allegations of sexual abuse by coaches and other authorities within sports. Gymnastics has gained the most mainstream media attention, especially owing to the high-profile trial of former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who saw more than 150 women testify at his sentencing hearing that he had abused them.
There was at least one volleyball player among Nassar’s testifying victims, as well.
The USOC has gone through a number of reforms this year in response to the abuse scandals. Among them was a doubling of funding to the newly-established U.S. Center for SafeSport, which now investigates and punishes sexual abuse reports, rather than the individual sporting federations (though the Center says it’s working to rely less on USOC funding to avoid conflicts of interest).
Most recently, the USOC hired on Wendy Guthrie as “senior director of athlete safety.”