The legislation builds on a law Senator Collins co-authored to protect amateur athletes
Click HERE to read Senator Collins’ floor remarks
Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed sweeping Olympic reform legislation cosponsored by U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to reform the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) in the wake of abuse allegations that affected nearly every corner of Olympic sports. Senator Collins spoke from the Senate floor today in support of the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act.
The bipartisan bill would strengthen legal liability against the Olympic and amateur sports governing bodies for the sexual abuses perpetrated by coaches and employees and give athletes greater representation on these governing boards. It would also give Congress the ability to provide regular oversight and strengthen reporting mandates for adults with knowledge of abuse allegations.
“Young athletes who train to represent our country at all levels of competition, and those who aspire to compete, should never have to fear victimization by trusted coaches and sports officials,” said Senator Collins. “This bill takes effective action to end the negligent behavior by some members of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the amateur athletic organizations that oversee Olympic sports that have, on far too many occasions, failed to protect young athletes from truly horrific instances of abuse.”
“I commend the young athletes for coming forward and for being so involved in creating this bipartisan bill,” Senator Collins continued. “These survivors have told their stories. We are now going to make a difference for them and for future athletes.”
In 2018, legislation authored by Senators Collins and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to help protect amateur athletes from sexual abuse was signed into law after passing the Senate and the House with overwhelming bipartisan support. At a press conference before the Senate vote, Senators Collins and Feinstein were joined by four former American gymnasts who courageously came forward to expose the crimes committed by Dr. Larry Nassar and others.
In addition to Senator Collins, the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act was cosponsored by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Kamala Harris (D-CA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).