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Source: United States Senator for West Virginia Shelley Moore Capito


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) announced her support for the Empowering Olympic and Amateur Athletes Act of 2019, which was introduced by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). The bipartisan legislation would reform the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) in response to findings of systemic abuse within the U.S. Olympic movement. U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) also signed on as cosponsors with Senator Capito.

“Sexual abuse has no place in society whatsoever. After hearing countless stories of sexual abuse and reviewing the findings of the Senate Commerce Committee’s investigation, it is clear that the organization failed to protect these men and women,” Senator Capito said. “I’m proud to co-sponsor this legislation that will help empower athletes and provide them with the reassurance that they are protected from similar situations in the future. It’s critical that we create additional measures of accountability and transparency to ensure that an incident of this size and scope never occurs again. Our legislation will accomplish that.”

“We’re grateful to Senators Ernst, Shaheen, Capito, and Cortez Masto for supporting this vital legislation to protect and empower Olympic and amateur athletes,” Senators Moran and Blumenthal said. “Their leadership delivers a powerful message to the courageous survivors who shared their stories with: Congress is determined to end the pattern of institutional failure that pervades Olympics and amateur sports. We’re committed to getting this bill passed and signed into law for these brave survivors, and for all future athletes, so that they can participate in the sport they love without fear of abuse or intimidation.”

The bipartisan Empowering Olympic and Amateur Athletes Act of 2019 is the culmination of an 18-month investigation conducted jointly by Senators Moran and Blumenthal—which included four subcommittee hearings, interviews with Olympic athletes and survivors, and the retrieval of 70,000 pages of documents.

The full bill text is available here.

A one-page summary of the legislation is available here.