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VIDEO: Hickenlooper Chairs Senate Hearing on Athlete Safety in Olympic Sports

Mar 21, 2024

Chair Hickenlooper: “Our athletes make many sacrifices to represent our country on the global stage. It’s up to us to make sure that our athletes are protected from any form of abuse.”

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper chaired a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security on the state of athlete safety in Olympic sports and examined challenges impacting the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s timely investigations of abuse, case resolutions, and transparency.

“Our Olympic and Paralympic athletes deserve a system that lets them focus on their goals and achievements without having to worry about any form of abuse. A system that brings swift, fair, and transparent justice to every victim should be the base expectation,” said Hickenlooper, Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security. “Today’s hearing marks an opportunity for leaders across the Movement to share ideas to chart that path forward.”

Hickenlooper was joined by Ranking Member Marsha Blackburn, Ju’Riese Colón, CEO of U.S. Center for SafeSport, Grace French, President and Founder of The Army of Survivors, Pat Kelleher, ED of USA Hockey, and Dionne Koller, Co-Chair of the Commission on the State of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

During the hearing, Hickenlooper and the other senators asked questions about SafeSport’s investigative process, increasing caseload for instances of abuse or misconduct, and jurisdiction. Hickenlooper also questioned SafeSport CEO, Ju’Riese Colón, about the delays and lack of transparency some individuals have experienced in cases reported to SafeSport, as reported by the Associated Press.

Congress established the U.S. Center for SafeSport, a nonprofit organization, in 2017 to address the sexual, physical, and emotional abuse of athletes, particularly minors, competing in Olympic sports programs. A recent Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics’ report was submitted to Congress and offered various recommendations to improve SafeSport’s performance investigating and resolving cases. 

For a full video of Hickenlooper’s opening remarks, click HERE.


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