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tv   Sexual Abuse in the Olympic Community  CSPAN  May 23, 2018 11:43pm-2:34am EDT

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c.e.o. of the susannempic committee, susanne lyons, apologized to the victims of abuse. congressman greg harper chairs subcommittee. >> the hearing will come to order. subcommittee on oversight and investigations is holding a hearing entitled examining the olympic community's ability to protect athletes from sexual abuse. here because recent events have highlighted a very troubling and concerning pattern sexual misconduct within the u.s. olympic community. a systemic failure in the system to protect in hows, including allegations of sul misconduct have been handled or should i
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say, not handled, by the bodies, theerning groups that run individual sports and the u.s. olympic committee. clear. me be if one case of sexual abuse is one case too many and it will take a herculean effort to regain the trust of prospective athletes, their families, and the american people. usoc and ngb's play a role in keeping millions of american safe from harm. the vast majority of athletes compete inll never olympics. they're on teams affiliated with in an ngbplay event, including or gymnastue teams ics competitions. they are children but fall within the parameters of organized sport so we're not
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about elite athletes representing their country at the highest level of competition. talking about our friends, our neighbors and yes, our children. athlete safety must be the top priority of the usoc ngb's and why they should policies in place to reflect that priority. more importantly, these policies and procedures must be followed, otherwise they're not worth the written on and the culture must be such that our athletes feel safe and protected. seen what can happen when athlete safety is not a priority. usocften it seems that the and ngb's haven't acted until they are publicly pressured to so. when you have survivors saying they were asked to stay silent, felt they weren't heard, and didn't feel safe, there is long -- wrongibly with the system. sexual abuse is a problem our
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must confront. according to the c.d.c. statistics on sexual violence, one in three women and one in sexual experience violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes. while such focus has been on u.s.a. gymnastics team dr. larry nassar, gymnastics is not the only that has had its challenges. recent reports involve the lopez in ti21 doe, accusations from the swimming community. and usoclly, each ngb were responsible for directly handling any complaints, allegations or reports of sexual abuse within their respective sport. procedureslicies, and bylaws weren't consistent and it'sl ngb's unclear whether there was adequate oversight to assure
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the applicable policies and procedures were even followed there. toe been recent changes improve how allegations of sexual misconduct are handled within the olympic community. the usoc has used working groups to make recommendations for promoting and protecting athletes, new policies and andedures were developed the u.s. center for safesport usoc anded by the 2017.ed in march of over the course of this investigation, the committee has with many survivors and their experiences have informed work.aped our these conversations and the many thousands of pages of documents provided to the committee pie survivors and and whistleblowers, helped shed light on the pervasive problem organizedabuse in
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sport and prompted the committee all 48est documents from governing bodies and the usoc. appreciate the assistance survivors have provided and our hearts go out to them. is to do everything we can to protect our athletes, many of whom are children. this hearing will serve as an to review whether there are policies in place to protect athletes from sexual abuse. it is of the utmost importance to hold them accountable for ensure safetyand is their top priority going forward. it is time to change the culture and for all. i'd like to welcome all of our witnesses and i do thank you for here today and i know this isn't an easy topic but it's one address to keep our nation's athletes safe and we do look forward to hearing your testimony. i would also like to thank the
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ranking member of the subcommittee and other members for their bipartisan hard work and assistance in this investigation and i recognize the ranking member of the subcommittee. >> thank you so much. signs aboutarning sexual misconduct in amateur yet theor decades and systems that were supposed to protect our athletes failed. that's why we're here today. noted.chairman these systems failed to stop harming morefrom than 250 individuals. they failed to stop a from abusingoach three athletes over seven years for which he was later convicted of multiple felonies. and they failed to stop a swim aach from abusing more than dozen athletes over 30 years. that coach was eventually prisoned to 40 years in but even a lifetime in jail he haserase the damage done. these cases unfortunately are not anomalies.
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too many athletes from far too many sports have come forward stating they have been traumatized by the very people they trusted to help them achieve their dreams. today, we are here because we need to know that the olympic sport community has learned from these survivors and is using to develop and implement a new system run by safesport.nter for we need to be convinced that this new center has a robust investigate and stop bad actors so that situations like this never happen again. and we need to make sure that the center has adequate funding going forward into the future. i understand that the u.s. olympic committee and the areonal governing body engaging in their own internal investigations into what went wrong. hope everyone today is prepared to explain exactly what they're doing to investigate and from past failures so they can build a system that works. the center for
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safesport, which is located right in the heart of my congressional district, can help us explain how past failures inform its work because the center doesn't just investigate allegations, although that's an important part of their job. the extraordinarily important task of developing and-abuse policies providing education and outreach to promote safe environments for athletes. the center will be able verifiablel, progress in creating a national culture of safety in sport but to say that i have concerns about whether safesport sufficient resources and whether it truly has the needs from the organizations it oversees. yesterday with safesport and i want to make sure that we assessmentsoutside
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of safesport's needs and operations and i want to make olympic community and the sporting community also them theted to fifth resources that they need. in case you didn't notice, the is not committee operating on a shoestring. its annual revenue is hundreds millions of dollars. thate we will hear today if safesport needs more money, olympic committee and bodies arening prepared to increase the support to this watchdog. i want to know how the center for safe sport and national ensure that the independent system they designed is working as intended and protecting goals of the people it's supposed to. for example, will there be performanceperiodic complaintsake sure
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are proper investigated, and that standards are adopted by many sports organizations under its jurisdiction? audits will be critical to evaluating this new system and i want to know this will that we have appropriate resources to do that work. i also want to understand that u.s. olympic committee is prepared to enforce consistent anti-abuse policies and procedures across all governing bodies. example, some governing bodies post public lists of and coachestes while others do not. some governing bodies require for allt training affiliated individuals and others only require it for members. know that various affiliates are concerned about this and are develop consistent policies. this is going to be critical and the leadership of the u.s. olympic committee will be critical. look, we're not here today to
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sporting world. american performances at the olympics are a source of inional pride and sports general benefit children and adults of all levels but it does good for our athletes to stand on a podium if they've and harmed by the people organizations that helped get them there. i hope we're on the road to real change. today, i want to hear from every andess how we truly are that the steps taken to date are not just window dressing because every athlete, no matter what sport they play and what level they're playing at, deserves to compete in a healthy and safe environment. thank you. >> now recognize the ranking for an opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the olympicrs of community will tell us they failed the people they were supposed to protect and we must examine those failures and understand whether the organizations before us today have learned from them.
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reports of sexual abuse in organized sports have been in the press for decades, years before the world learned of larry nassar's horrific crimes. shameful that many organizations share the blame for failing survivors. the problem of sexual abuse in is bigger thans larry nassar and bigger than any single organization. hear from the national governing bodies of several sports and each has to abuse ofhe sexual athletes. unfortunately we've seen these cases are not rare. too many athletes have come forward with accounts of abuse. these athletes come from different sports but often we hear the same themes listening to them. abusers heldeir positions of power, sometimes controlling whether an athlete andd train or compete frequently abusers had powerful friends in the respective organizations and up until recent each sport's governing body addressed sexual abuse allegations internally, failing to protect athletes.
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for anas a great need independent organization and last march the u.s. center for opened doors with the mission to prevent abuse and foster culture of safety in sport. sport bodies can and must report allegations of sexual misconduct to the center of if safesport. the center continues to receive cases froms well as athletes who reported sexual abuse in the past. training education and for sports governing bodies and athletes and the organization has already provided training to people and00,000 received more than 500 reports. clearly all of this takes need to make we sure the center for safesport has the resources and personnel needs to do its work. i also want to hear what the u.s. olympic committee is doing to support the center for safesport. special language in the tax code designates the u.s. olympic committee as a tax exempt, non-profit organization. organizations can report revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars as the u.s. olympic committee did the
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its most recent tax filing. the u.s. center for safesport funding from diverse sources, including fund-raising and government grants as well as portion from the u.s. olympic committee so hopefully we'll today that the olympic committee and sports governing prepared to provide consistent support for the safesport. it's important they have a dedicated source of funding. i also hope we hear the u.s. olympic committee will use its position of leadership and to require sports bodies to adopt reforms as to reduce risk of harm to athletes. questions such as who is subject to background checks, how checks are done and whether lists of individuals banned from the sport are made public, are standards that should be applied consistently across all sports. also want to hear that the center for safesport, the olympic committee and all
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committedbodies are to completing ongoing formal assessments and evaluations to working andat is what needs additional improvement or additional resources. before we leave today, i want to all of our witnesses about the reforms they've implemented to keep athletes safe. i want you to convince me how how you failedg athletes in the past and how shapingssons are reforms in place. also want to hear there will be zero tolerance for the kinds of abuses that brought us here today. that, mr. chairman, unless someone wants my minute, i will back. mr. chairman: gentleman yields back. the chair will recognize the committee, the full mr. walden, for an open. rep. walden: thank you very much. every one of us in this room has an olympic memory. for a select few, it is competing in the olympic games
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of our great country. for the vast majority of us, it is watching our athletes compete. olympics inspire, they unite us. we cheer them on to victory with great pride. watch the olympics with their own dream that one may compete at the most elite level and represent our country. but the system of organized sport headed by the united states olympic committee and 48 governing bodies is much bigger than the olympics. and includes millions of don't necessarily compete at the highest levels. ngb's before us today -- gymnastics, tae kwon do, volleyball and swimming -- collectively members. some 979,000 u.s.a. swimming includes whoyone from michael phelps by the way testified by this committee last year -- the same is true for all of the
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others and gee bees in existence. athletes of all levels have frequent contact with coaches, doctors, and trainers, who are given responsibility beyond enabling these athletes. we entrust them with athlete safety and well-being. these individuals often hold positions of great power and authority. can they control and athletes training schedule or medical treatment, they often have a direct say in that athletes career, such as deciding who competes. as has become abundantly clear, too many authority figures have abused their power and influence and harmed the very athlete that were trusted to them. poweres have very little
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by comparison, and too many have been failed by a system that purports to protect. much attention has been paid to the case of larry nassar, in part because of the sickening number of athlete. hundreds have come forward as victims of his abuse that spanned two decades. the sad truth is that abuse in the olympic community extends well beyond terry nassar -- larry nassar. boards. center for safety as already received 488 reports regarding sexual abuse involving 35 of the 40 total. has spoken with numerous survivors in the course of this investigation, and we thank all of them for their assistance in this work. there were far too many similarities in what we heard. individuals in positions of power not only of use their
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trust, but physically abused their persons. ,nd when survivors thought how far too many felt the system protected not been, but their abusers. they felt silenced. eyes of many survivors, the culture of metals and monday one over safety and protection. changes have been made, particularly in the last year, which show how things are moving in the right direction. however, many questions remain about if the community has come far enough fast enough. suremust be done to make athlete safety is the top priority. today, this committee will examine how to protect young athletes now and in the future. amongst our concerns, whether the culture fosters a safe environment for victims to come forward. if the policies and procedures
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are enforced in a way that promotes transparency and accountability, whether the center for safe sport is as effective as it can be, and if the usoc has exercised their full authority when it comes to creating and enforcing policies that protect our athlete from sexual abuse and misconduct. i look forward to hearing about what congress can do to improve and strengthen the system, so we are actually protecting athletes at all levels in all sports. thank you for being here as part of this discussion. with that, i yield the rest of my time. >> thank you mr. chair. and i want to thank you for holding this hearing today. abuse of all kinds has come under close scrutiny across the country. sexual abuse in particular has shown itself to be far more
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pervasive. of my the diligent work hometown newspaper, the indianapolis star, we have learned about dr. nasser and his systemic abuse of athletes and what our athletes have had to endure for many years in their olympic qwest -- quest. i am glad i let along with a colleague, and saw the passage of a bill protecting young victims. law,resident signed into on february of 2018, this bipartisan, game changing bill. it prioritizes the safety of our nation's athletes, because we must ensure that they are safe when they go to the gym, take the ice, go onto the field. look to their
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coaches, instructors, and trainers as role models. , issuersill, now law that our governing bodies will support a culture within their organization to foster safe and healthy relationships between coaches and athletes through .olicies and procedures i am proud that this was signed into law, because our past, present, and future athletes dedicating their lives to perfecting their sport, need to be protected. they need to be safe and free from sexual abuse, and i thank you all and look forward to your testimony. thatask unanimous consent the written opening statements be part of the record. additionally, i ask unanimous consent that energy and commerce members not on the subcommittee be permitted to create -- to participate.
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i now introduce our witnesses for today's hearing, first we have suzanne lyons, chief officer in the united states olympic committee. next is the chief executive officer at usa gymnastics. president at usa swimming, and the executive director of usa tae kwon do. then we have mr. davis, chief officer of usa volleyball, and finally the president and chief executive officer at the u.s. center for safe sport. you are aware the committee is holding an investigative hearing, and when doing so, has had the practice of taking testimony under both. oath.u have -- under do you have any objection? no.witnesses have responded
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counsel.ntitled to do any of you desire counsel today? but the record reflects that all witnesses have responded no. rise, and i, please ask you to raise your right hand and i will swear you in. do you swear the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? thank you, you may be seated. both, andw under subject to the penalties of the united states code. you may now give a five-minute summary of your written statement, and we begin with you. system thatight should turn yellow when you have
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a minute left, and read when you're five minutes are up. >> good morning chairman, ranking members, and members of the subcommittee. months ago, i agreed to serve as the acting ceo of the u.s. olympic committee, because i felt an obligation to help address the significant and important issues that bring us here today. like you, i was deeply saddened and angry to be are the statements of the girls and women who were the victims of larry asser. i heard of the powerful and compelling stories of victims and survivors, including those who have such help. they found the system unresponsive, complex, and fraught with risk to their dreams. this is appalling and unacceptable. the olympic community failed the people they were supposed to protect.
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i would like to apologize once again to those individuals and their families, some of whom i believe are with us today. i know we can do better, and we will do better. role, iccepted this announced a series of initiatives to address abuse and structural weaknesses. we committed to providing funding for athletes from other sports affected by abuse. we committed to doubling our funding for the center for safe sport, announced a government's review, and committed to strengthening the voices of the athlete's. importantly, we reiterated our commitment to reform usa gymnastics. last year, we demanded the resignation of the usa gymnastics ceo, and this year require a complete turnover of the board, along with several additional reforms. we are making progress but have a long way to go.
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i would like to update the subcommittee on our efforts. first, we are redoubling our efforts with the center for safe sport. year, it isne already clear that the center is serving an essential role. the center has experienced a significant increase in the number of reports of abuse, and although any report is disheartening, that's the reason we need it. it provides a safe and independent path for athletes to report their concerns. we doubled our grid for the center to $3.1 million. we are also working with the center to identify potential improvements and their policies .nd procedures we are committed to enhancing the voices of athletes in our committee.
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we reformed our engagement with athletes, and are oversights. we need to make sure that we are organized and empowered to take appropriate steps to take -- to protect athletes. rebuilding gymnastics is the fourth category. we committed to a million dollar grant to be gymnastics foundation, entirely for assistance programs, medical support, and counseling. we are in constant contact with ceo kelly perry, and others at gymnastics. recently, we supported gymnastics as they establish that board, and we support them as they make governance reforms. ahead, thisove category of effort will develop in the coming months, when we receive the independent investigation of masters of use. use.sters of
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relevant any information on abuse. it will make the report public in its complete and unabridged form, and take whatever actions are appropriate. we have made significant progress in strengthening protections for athletes, but our collective efforts must not cease. we must support the victims and survivors, and honor those stood up against abuse. we promise to lead the olympic community to bring real and lasting change. i be happy to answer your questions. thank you, the chair will now recognize mr. perry for your opening statement. chairman, ranking member, and members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify at this hearing.
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for more than 50 years, usa gymnastics has served as a governing body for the sports in the united states. we have many responsibilities to the community. none are more important than the safety and well-being of our .thletes i came on board from outside the sport and movement. the reason goal and i accepted the mission is to create a supportive and empowering culture, that helps athletes achieve their dream in and empowering culture. first i want to apologize, for all who were harmed by the horrific acts of larry nassar. i was in the courtroom, listening to the courageous women explained in vivid and painful detail the damage he did to their lives. their voices will not be forgotten. i assure you i will keep their
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words and experiences at the core of every vision i make as the leader of his organization. have broken my heart, but also strengthened my resolve. let there be no mistake, those days are over. , with newa new leadership and a commitment to ensure this never happens again. since december of 2017, we have embarked on a mission that was athletes first. working hardwe are to regain the trust and confidence of our athletes, and all who are a part of our community. in the past five months, here are just a few of the bold to put usa gymnastics on a new course. we closed the national training , have at the caroli ranch given the usa gymnastics a fresh start, we fully support the u.s. olympic committee and congressional investigations
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that we hope will shed light on these crimes. we fully support federal legislation, now a law, that will help safeguard amateur. expanded our safe sport department to include five new positions, four of which will live in the regions covered by the united states, to better support, training, and educate our members. we created an athlete's task force were athletes will help shape our future and strategic and operating decisions. we continue to implement the deborah daniels recommendation, stemming from an independent evaluation of usa gymnast. we are strongly enforcing the safe sport policy that requires mandatory reporting in specific types of misconduct and set standards for grooming behavior with a reporting easier dedicated toll-free number and online reporting.
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toare amending our bylaws support a cultural commitment to athlete safety and help enforce safe sport policies. we are educating and training our staff, our board, and members on the new policy. report that our staff and board are 100% safe sport compliant. beginning in 2018, all professional and club members must be safe sport certified as a condition of membership. are participating in mediation to resolve athlete claims fairly and expeditiously. created adam athlete assistance fund, in cooperation with the national gymnastics foundation, to provide survivors of abuse with the needed resources. these changes are not just amendments to our policy, they are part of a cultural shift that reflects our commitment to prioritizing the safety of our athletes and members.
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hold our organization to the highest standards of care in order to become the standardbearer of change. i testify on behalf of the new usa gymnastics, because right now, there is a parent driving their child to gymnastics class. parents and know we are doing everything we can to protect your child. athlete safety must be at the forefront of everything we do. we have taken decisive action to grow into a more athlete centered organization, committed to helping athletes fill their dreams. out of respect for those who have stood on the podium under the united states flag, and out of devotion to the aspiring young athletes who set foot in jim's every day, we must, and we will, a merge stronger and safer. thank you and i'm happy to answer your questions. >> thank you.
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chairman harper, ranking member, and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. we facehousand and 10, the unfortunate reality that people were being abused. we deeply regret the abuse suffered by children, athletes, and other participant. participation in sports should offer physical, social, and emotional benefits. but for some, this resulted in abuse, trauma, and will negatively impact the rest of their lives. that is inexcusable. those who sit before me today, i am deeply committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for children to row, play, and compete. while recognizing that much work remains to be done, let me describe the steps usa swimming has taken. >> in 2000 and 10, we
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established a comprehensive abuse response program called safe sport. hired athlete protection officers in the first position of its kind, to establish a safe sport committee. the past eight years, the program has evolved. over 90 individuals have been banned from membership for sexual misconduct and is published on our van list. -- ban list. checks havekground been enhanced and we conduct monthly reports on our 50,000 numbers, resulting in approximately 600,000 annual background checks of adult access to children. have over 80 individuals dedicated to championing safe sport athlete at the local, regional, and national level. educational initiatives have also increased.
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individuals have received a safe sport training and in person workshops or,. finally, a victim assistance fund has been established. i regret that we continue to receive reports of child sexual abuse in swimming. the organization can, should, and will do more, and i believe that effort. i am the father of 6, 3 girls, three boys. and upon assuming the role of presidency of usa swimming, i recognized safe sports significance the organization and the opportunity to work with the subcommittee in this organization has only intensified my commitment to protecting children and athletes. we have a number of new initiatives and are getting even more.
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the safe sport recognized club program to enhance athlete protection efforts at all levels, especially the local level. the trainers program will increase the number of advocates spreading the message throughout our organization. i have and will continue to meet with survivors of abuse, to ensure we hear their voices and learn from their experiences. efforts,on to its own usa swimming will continue to be at a responsible leader, stewart , and member of the olympic sport community. we embrace our obligations of protecting young victim. we already have policies in place that require reporting, prohibits retaliation, and limit one-on-one interaction between adults and children. further, usa swimming supports the u.s. center for safe sport and is fully committed to its success.
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past,we cannot change the we will learn from it, and we will be better. commitment to preventing child sexual abuse and providing a safe and healthy environment for our athletes is constant and long-lasting. thank you, and i look forward to answering your questions. >> the shared now recognizes mr. mcnally for five minutes. in just under eight months, i have served as executive director of usa tae kwon do, and i think the committee for the opportunity to express my to ensuringmitments that athletes are protected from sexual misconduct in the u.s. olympic community as well as those participating in sports outside the olympic movement. purposes of background, we were formed in 2000 and 42 in after theonsibility
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dissolution of the previous governing body of the united states tae kwon do union. very few records exist from that era, and no continuity exists with regards to the organization's board of directors, leadership, or senior staff. in the documents i have accumulated since becoming executive director, i have concluded that the organization's response to asplaints are 22015 varied administration changed personnel. usa tae kwon do has always sucked to protect members from misconduct, while also abiding the requirements to protect the rights of the abused. >> could you please pull the microphone a little closer? >> in 2015, following allegations of sexual assault at the hands of coaches, usa tae kwon do immediately retained an attorney from a firm
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specializing in outside counsel. from this point forward, we have relied on outside counsel to investigate all of our history, in an effort to uncover any previous unreported incidents and to pursue sanctions against offenders. outside counsel operated without any limitation on their budget and with no control on who they should or should not pursue, and with only rudimentary reporting requirements to usa tae kwon do. the direction of outside counsel in conjunction with our leadership, a number of measures were implemented immediately following these following pending allegations of misconduct, discovery of additional claims, and ensuring the safety of athletes. the investigation was conducted by outside counsel and succeeded in exposing evidence of misconduct within usa tae kwon do as early as 1994.
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as one might imagine, the pursuit of sanctions proved to with manyt elusive, victims hesitance to reopen old wounds, and reluctant to discuss matters about which their family, friends, or employers were unaware. not be locatedld and some were unavailable for a variety of other reasons. some of eventually disclose information to outside counsel, but only that they could do so confidentially and would not be compelled to testify. to this day, the outside counsel has raised some concern they have received only to provide responses. an interest in stephen and jean lopez, and summarize a underme ban and are indefinite suspension. i want to emphasize we submitted evidence concerning these allegations to the fbi, the texas police department, the local sheriff's office, and the
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colorado springs school department. now, the case is still pending. it is my strong commitment to be part of the solution, and under my leadership, usa tae kwon do has taken additional efforts to become more proactive. this includes the immediate referral of any and all sexual abuse allegations, the referral of any allegations involving potential crimes. suspend anely individual if we believe there is a threat to athletes and we now in short leadership contains both genders. we require safe sport training for all referees, we have introduced mandatory background checks for vendors even, and have just engaged a group called fighting spirit, which provides education on sexual misconduct and all minor national team athletes will be required to take this training.
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do will usa tae kwon launch the #not in my sport campaign, with the goal of educating participants on what is acceptable behavior and also to empower athletes. there is no doubt, more work to be done in the entire olympic family must ensure that funding and resources remain available. thank you, and i await your questions. >> thank you, we will now recognize mr. davis. -- ranking rick , and sub members. i joined usa volleyball as ceo in 217, and in that timeframe, i have been proud to lead an organization that reflects all usaur participants
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volleyball actively can encourage our members to report any and all of use. we report and investigate any investigation brought forward -- allegation brought forward. this is the core of our values. a have long championed culture of protection of our participants and one of the first organizations to implement a robust background screening policy. usa volleyball's artwork with nationally respected background screening company ssc i and implemented a policy requiring individuals who are ballclubs to submit to a background screening. and 10, we had a special commission to address athlete safety. it produce recommendations for usa volleyball.
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the recommendations were extensive, and included developing a procedure for accepting allegations, defining inappropriate behavior, and providing continual education on these topics to usa volleyball participants and parents. the conditions worked to pave the way to establish safe sport procedures before it was ever called safe sport. we are proud to be an early endorser of a safe sport program. as i hope this evidence, we have long considered safety of our athletes to be a top priority. this priority was not suddenly created in response to recent headlines or a result of mount abbotsford, but because many years ago, we recognize protecting our athletes and members is the right thing to do. i would like to address the case of rick butler, who has made headlines. he is a well-known private club owner and coach in rural illinois.
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his club, is not owned or operated by usa volleyball,, however there athletes and coaches are required to be members of usa volleyball if they wish to participate usa bible sanctioned events. in 1995, allegations of sexual misconduct were brought forward by three members what they were employed at his privately owned club. had claimed that mr. butler a sexual relationship with them while he was their coach and while they were under the age of 18. as a result of those allegations, in 1995, we found that mr. butler had violated our rules and as a result banned him for life. after five years past, and upon usa volleyball voted to conditionally reinstate his membership in the year 2000. under the limitation of his inability to ever coached junior girls. to be clear, regardless of the headlines surrounding the matter, and since 1995, mr.
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butler has been banned from coaching junior girls, a condition of his lifetime ban. allegations these are the result of his activities as a club director and coach, and not a part of usa national volleyball. late 2016, several great women came forward to usa volleyball to provide new allegations for sexual misconduct dating back to the 1980's. phase on these claims, we filed new charges against mr. butler, and in january of 2018, our ethics committee held a hearing. he was once again found to have violated our rules, and as a result, he was banned from total prices patient in usa volleyball for life without the possibility of reinstatement. our efforts were recently by the ceo of one of the nation's most vocal advocates for women's rights in sports. there is a letter addressed to
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me that she wrote in part quote we are reaching out to thank you for banning mr. butler from volleyball for his predation. it took a lot to be first organization to bed him, and we are grateful for your strong commitment. we are optimistic that these efforts will make a difference the any sports organization has to make a call to investigate, and a member. that we have ad perfect, nor do i ignore the fact there have been offenders in our mid-. encourage anyone listening today, if you have any information about misconduct, past or present, please conduct -- contact our offices. we will listen and act and what to create the most enjoyable atmosphere for players of all ages, and look forward to a day when there is no misconduct. we will do everything we can to make this a reality. thank you, and i look forward to your questions. you.ank
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the chair will now recognize the ceo and center for safe sport. >> chairman harper, ranking members, and members of the committee, it is my privilege to serve as president of ceo for the united states center for safe sport, an independent nonprofit organization in denver colorado. the center is dedicated to making athletes well-being the centerpiece of our sports culture. we say that again, we are dedicated to making athletes well-being the centerpiece of our sports culture, from abuse prevention, education, and accountability. our athletesof have suffered abuse at the hands of perpetrators, who take advantage of a sports environment where athletes form bonds with their coaches, trusted adults, and teammate. as he said, if one athlete is abused, it is one too many. i know from experience that sports at its core builds
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character. promotes a healthy lifestyle, and promote self-confidence. we are here today because we never want to lose sight of those values. , we opened our7 doors as an independent entity and started taking reports on day one. today, our operations included a nine-member board and 14 full-time employees. ,hey sue support from congress we were recognized into protecting young victims in the safe sport authorization act which became law in february. many safeguards, it requires anybody working in amateur sports must immediately report affected abuse of minors and prohibits retaliation against those accused to come forward. adults who have regular contact sports, must now compete mandatory safe sport training and adhere to best practices, policies, and
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procedures might be safe sport coat. specifically outlines and prohibits forms of abuse and misconduct and defined the processes surrounding reporting. reports can be made through the center's website or calling our office. i want to stress to anyone who is listening, reports can be made anonymously, and there is no statute of limitations. the safety and well-being of those we serve is our priority. qualified investigators are trained to handle each report with care. into the numbers, i want to underscore that we never lose sight of the fact that behind these numbers are people then, --. men, women, boys, and girls, lingering with abuse. in our first year, we responded to more than 500 reports and
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inquiries, and this year we expect that number to double let me put it into perspective. we weree last year, getting 20-30 reports per month. now, we getting 20-30 reports per week. so far, we have issued 169 sanctions, including sanctioning 142 officials of four permanent ineligibility. 100 42 individuals are permanently unable to coach or participate in sports. these are listed in our online searchable database, available to anyone who wants to use it. the volume of reports speak to the critical need of the center. we know how hard it is for victims to come forward our goal is to continue building trust while establishing a culture
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where everyone feels safe, supported, and empowered to report. with the ultimate objective to end all of abuse. in additions to investigative reports, we also provide outreach, education, and training. not only for athletes, but organizations at all levels. in our first year, 4000 completed our online training and hundreds have expressed .nterest in accessing it i know we have a lot more work to do. we have the power to be a very positive influence on participants, communities, and our nation. for helping us prioritize our important mission of championing respect and to end abuse.
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>> we are going to ask unanimous consent that the record be introduced into the record. without objection, the documents will be entered into the record with any reductions the staff determines are appropriate. miss lyons, if i may ask you see questions, do you yourselves as responsible for overseeing and enforcing policies that keep athletes safe? >> yes, i think we view ourselves as responsible, and i think if we have had a failing, it is that we have not adequately exercise our authority. >> my question was is that your responsibility? >> yes. >> is it a top priority? >> it is a top priority. >> i am glad you view it that way, we are all worried it
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hasn't always been the case. if you could look at the documents binder before you, and turn to tackle one -- tab one. you will see a washington post -- datedid you february 23 of 2018. it references a deposition in which a tae kwon do athlete alleged she was raped by her coach in a training center. attorney was asked if protecting athletes was a top priority, and his response was that they do not have athletes. does the u.s. oc believe they have the authority to require non-governing bodies to implement procedures? >> i do think it grants us that authority. g the u.s. oc provides an
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b's.s -- ng is that correct? >> that is correct. have their owny governing structure and applicable bylaws and strategies. >>. that is correct >> as i mentioned, if the procedures are not implemented and properly enforced, they're not much good. audits ofd to protect all of the organizations and high performance management organizations to assess their compliance with safe for policies and procedures. the reports for each organizations were issued last year in october 2017. the organizations were found to be in compliance with the procedures, and did not have any observations, but many were found to have deficiencies.
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you know how many audits found deficiencies? at that time, the majority had deficiencies. i am happy to say virtually all are in compliance. >> would it be fair to say 43 had deficiencies? >> that is correct. >> the audit also found a number of deficiencies. if you could turn to have two -- tab two. au can see this concerned lack of guidance on anonymous and confidential reporting by survivors on training and background checks to name a few. there doesb's not seem to have been a follow-up audit. do you plan to conduct a follow-up audit? >> let me just had a moment to review.
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>> we should do exactly the same thing, have a follow-up audit. does the u.s. oc have to enforce policies and procedures? think the afghans is a great deal of authority. that the act grants us a great deal of authority. decertify, put them on probation, or withhold funds? so you have a number of tools and/or disposal. what circumstances would it take to warrant that the u.s. oc take such action. what do you have to see?
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to see in behavior by a nongovernmental body to decertify or withhold funds? >> we look for a number of things. ability toe the manage effectively and to look for them to have appropriate financial control. the importantdded requirement that they meet all of the safe sport standards, they have implemented new language. so we have increasingly added to our list of compliance that they must have the safe sport ejections and we ought against -- audit against that. thank you mr. chairman, i would like to follow up on your question. lyons, i think you testified that there are roughly 49 of these organizations, and as we heard today, every group
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has their own governing rentals. why it iss probably really important that we have an organization like the center for safe sport, so they can have an overriding protocol for complaints of this nature. isn't that correct? >> ivory. -- i agree. >> that is one reason why the center of safe sport was founded is over a year ago. you miss, to turn to because you testified that last year the center for safe sport had about 20-30 complaints per month. this year, it's 20 or 30 per week. and you got hundreds pending right now, is that right? >> baby for the question. we have had 800 total reports come in.
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roughly 18 months, 800 reports. safe sport reported that the u.s. olympic committee provided $2.7 million in 2017, it is going to provide roughly $3.1 million for 2018 and $3.1 million for 2019. is that right? >> yes, ma'am. >> getting back to your testimony, i think you had said ,ver since the #metoo movement the center for safe sport has seen the number of complaints skyrockets, is that right? between the me too movement and the master trials. -- nasser trials. >> that is probably a good thing because people realize they can report.
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>> yes-man. maa'am. you get money from be different and ob's according to a schedule. yes, you can governing body gives us an annual fee based on their size. >> what is your budget right now? >> a little over 4.6 billion. >> and how many investigators do you have? >> internally, five full-time investigators plus three support staff. seven external contracted investigators as well. >> so roughly 13 people. you believe that is sufficient with the increase in complaints to thoroughly investigate? >> no. you for awant to talk minute, because i spoke to you yesterday.
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do you believe the center for safe sport has sufficient funding to investigate these complaints? i am not familiar with their budget, but based on our experience, they could certainly use more. >> and your organization, you get $50,000 a year to the center for safe sport. >> about 43,000. >> and he would be willing to give more? >> absolutely. if we can provide more resources, we absolutely will. >> miss lyons, the u.s. olympic committee, according to the recent tax filing, the revenues are the hundreds of millions of dollars. is that correct? >> yes. >> so i want to ask you, are you committed to giving the full funding that safe sport needs to
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conduct thoroughly the investigations of the many complaints. >> yes, and our board has expressed that we will certainly revisit that. miss, are you engaging in outside evaluators to determine what kind of budget you really need. >> yes we are. >> and when do you expect that information? >> i would hope that we would have it in the next six weeks and be able to provide an estimate based on what we are seeing. , this me just say committee is fully supportive of what your organization was established to do. it appears the entire athletic , and so whatever money you need to actually do your work, please let us know and we will work with you and all of the different organizations to make sure you get that. that will be critical to resolving all of the issues
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s.lating to the victim >> the chernow recognizes sherman walden, the chair of the committee. >> thank you chairman. this lyons, there appears to be knowingy with the usoc about allegations and doing nothing. have taken as, you number of positions on how much authority they have to protect athletes. officials have said they quote don't have athletes" that the ted stevens act does not give you the authority to mandate action on this issue. 2016, officials said in a deposition that they don't have the authority to "do if they are concerned about the safety of athletes. so i want to ask you a simple question.
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what precisely is the authority when it comes to protecting athletes. act gives use broader authority that we have exercised in the past. heardething we have repeatedly from survivors is that you are more concerned about your own reputation that it is about athlete safety. if you could please turn to to have three in the exhibit binder , i will just mention that this is a policy document on athlete safety issue just last month. tab three. if you turn to page seven, there is a list of six items a review considerofficials will in deciding in complaints and opposing a section. can you explain why one of the factors to consider is "the effect on the usoc's reputation"
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>> i have to admit i have not seen that before, and it does not belong on that list. >> ok, i appreciate the candor. this is not the only documents produced that references the effect on your reputation. also similar language in the usoc safe sport policy that would be on tap for and in your training access protocol five, whencap -- tab you would still have been responsible for handling complaints of sexual abuse. i encourage you to review those and act appropriately. i am heartened by the progress made by safe sport last year, but i want to make sure the
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reputation of usoc does not lay a role in safe for decision. according to safe for policies, a factor of "relevant." sanction is the real or perceived impact on the incident of reporting tab 30 pageusoc, 9. again, why is the impact on these organizations important in determining whether a violation has occurred and whether to issue a sanction? >> those in the sport and those that support the sport, that can be used in terms of making an appropriate sanction.
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that poor conduct and its poor reflection on the sport matters. i would just say that we do a lot of legislating around here, and what you think they are and what i think they are, a few years from now, somebody may go well if we do that, that might reflect poorly on the organization. i would just caution all of you that i understand what you may think it is, but it better be dark well clear that the patient safety's first. i think that's where you're headed, and i respect that, but it is clearly not where we were in the past. >> we will absolutely look at that verbiage. make no mistake, we work for athletes. >> thank you.
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i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back in the chair will now recognize the gentlewoman from florida. >> thank you chairman. i want to focus on whether the culture of winning above all else increases the risk of athlete of use. hass horrendous that it taken a scandal of such epic proportions where hundreds of girls in u.s. and gymnastics were abused by a doctor to get to this point. lyons, according to the washington post, the olympic attorney was deposed in 2016 and when asked about the committee priorities he stated "we had many priorities, chief among them is sending athletes to the games and doing well in those games" when asked whether protecting athletes was a priority, he reportedly said they do not have athletes, applying the olympic committee is not responsible for athletes.
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you are familiar with these remarks, correct? >> i am. >> i firmly believe that the committee has a responsibility to protect the health and welfare of the. -- athletes. infebruary, you outlined seven steps you would take to ensure a safe environment, including an effort to promote a culture change. what do you mean by this culture change? someave given us specifics, but tell us really what you see. what does the future hold? >> well first, i would just like to say that in terms of performance, we believe that performance and safety go hand in hand. we don't believe athletes can perform at their best unless they are in a safe, respectful, and supportive environment. in terms of what we need to change in the culture, and i think this is across the entire movement, not just in gymnastics
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, we have to first of all put that safety front and center. it feels like in the past it has been a culture of protect the coach, not the athlete. for example, why hasn't it been referring of actually these cases and complaints to local law enforcement? >> well, it is now the law that those types of cases must be given to local law enforcement, and anyone who does not do so is violating federal law. have you communicated that to all of the organizations? havel organizations received that and made changes within their own bylaws and other materials. they are now required to be under jurisdiction of the center. >> this culture change is a key part of safe sport's, you outlined specific steps the safe sport is taken to make this happen. much of what we are hearing today sounds good, but i am
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worried that we do not have a way to know whether things will actually get better. one of the concerns is whether or not safe sport is actually independent. what can you tell us to ensure us you are acting independently and moving away from a culture of protect the coach and or position to a protect the athletes. >> thank you for the question. , ninee an independent person board of directors that meet a high standard of independent. they have subject matter they come from an ethics compliance world. they hold us to a high standard. i can tell you that our investigators are the same. when we take on a case, and a report, we do that in an independent, confidential, and professional manner. >> one of the issues in the
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workplace, but i'm sure it applies here, is retaliation. you will have an athletes that comes forward with a complaint, but the organization then may hear about it or there might be rumors, and then they don't get to compete. what is being done to address retaliation and make sure the athletes are protected? >> thank you for the question. retaliation is a violation of our code and is subject to , theions, and the new law protecting young victims and six were authorization act, put some teeth into that. and it provides further protections for those coming forward. both reporting parties, or the victims themselves, the survivors, as well as witnesses. >> and what about referrals to local law enforcement? what about when a parent or as we comes forward with a serious complaint. >> absolutely.
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we are mandatory reporters, we immediately call law enforcement. if they have already been called, we are double checking to make sure they haven't called and we let the law enforcement process play out. from fbi to local law enforcement. and then we look at whether a breach of the code took place. the standards to for youth sport and development across the country and we have high expectations for you.
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>> because of the gravity of the situation i'm going to read from prepared questions, because it is so important. i am going to ask the same question to the three of you. the first is to susan lyons. forcommittee has asked detailed data to demonstrate the number of reports, complaints, or allegations of sexual abuse, and the handling of that information. almost every ngb that has thatnded in some fashion they not always track such report orn, the allegations. youlyons, does it concern that they have not always track such information?
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yes, that is a concern. i would point out that there is no rule that they have to report it to us. a have to report it to the center, and we are getting reports from the center. required tot not give information to track and monitor this type of information. >> the weight we operated in the past was different. there was more autonomy, and we did not exercise the authority. that is one reason we are putting together a review that i am sure will result in us having a better feedback loop. >> are you requiring that such information be tracked? >> we will be, we are not yet. >> what is your timetable? >> that is one of the first things that will occur. , to kerry question
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perry. nice name, kerry perry. i understand you are trying to compile data, steve cannot provide the aggregate number of reports, compliants or allegations. taking explain why it is so long to provide the committee with the aggregate number of complaints that usa gymnastics has received regarding sexual misconduct? -- since idiscard started in december, one of the first things i looked at, and is concerning, what type of reports have been made, looking at a history. unfortunately, what i discovered is that there was not a lot of great data. i cannot answer to that, but what i can tell you, since the last several months, we have embarked on a journey to really
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find a good database for tracking, and really keeping internally records of everything that is either investigated by the center, sent to the center, or going through the process of usa gymnastics. what i can tell you, as of january of this year, through april. usa gymnastics had approximately 200 75 cases. went to275, about 78 the center for sexual abuse. i can tell you we have recently signed a contract with a vendor, is same that the center using. for me, it was needed information, and i wanted to make sure we took care of that immediately. >> when you think your new system is going to be fully implemented? >> we are in the implementation
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phase right now. we believe in the next two months. in the meantime, we are tracking the allegations that are coming through in a database that has been created internally. my last question is for mr. mcnally. letter, yournse organization admitted it has failed to comply with tracking information about allegations of sexual abuse, including oral reports. what type of complaints, if any, did tae kwon do track? found went through the hearing process. there is very little information, if any, that did not proceed to that stage. effort is tae kwon do's
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right now to compile this information to track it, and to follow up on it? over, we areok keeping our own internal database. willso were seeing if they work with us for centralized tracking. we spoke to the chief information officer, and one of the analysts is working on it. >> it is an active item and you are working on it? >> very much so. we need more historical information, and to make sure nothing slips through the crack's again. >> thank you for your discretion, i yield act. will recognize mr. blum for five minutes. for five minutes. 2017, allstand in complaints involving sexual
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misconduct. you're here today so we can learn how it operates. my first question, if you would walk me through what happens when there is a complaint from an athlete. , generallys speaking, what takes place? report comesl or a in through the website, it can be any mail, it can be anonymously or third party, we are immediately triaging those reports. we are looking to see if we need to call law enforcement. if it is sexual abuse of a minor is part of that report, we immediately called law enforcement if that is the case. if we are looking at is someone in harms way. if we feel that is the case, we will immediately impose an interim measure or suspension. from there, the investigation
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continues with a qualified investigator that is versed in trauma, informed investigations, and we are talking to the reporting party, as well as the responding party, or the alleged individual for which the report is on. there, again, collecting information from them, collecting information from witnesses, sometimes there are a lot of witnesses, sometimes not. that in the length of the investigation. >> how long does it take to complete an investigation? , it depends on all of those factors, how many investigations, are there more than one reporting parties, how far back does this go. all of those way in. -- weigh in. some are longer, some are shorter. we have a director of investigations, and decisions that once our investigators do
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deal inrk, and we facts, so we have a fair process, whereby tax are gathered, -- whereby facts are gathered. he is determining whether a ,reach of the code took place if a breach took place, then a sanction is administered. that sanction could be anything from a warning to a permanent ineligibility. there are options for arbitration at the interim measure as well as the sanctioning stage. >> you mentioned a referral to law enforcement. mcnally'se, mr. -- law testimony enforcement does not want to target to know that he or she is being investigated.
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can say sport take while law enforcement is investigating a case, and the safe sport keep athletes informed of the status of an investigation where law enforcement is involved? >> that is an important question. we would work with law enforcement, and it is true depending on the case, the law enforcement agents may want us to not work on the investigation formally. however, we have the obligation to protect athletes. we would work with them, let them know that we need to put in an interim measure so that athletes are protected. comes first.ty >> i understand the type of complaints that safe port manages -- that safe sport manages, some might not
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understand how this works. the lack of understanding may keep individuals from coming forward. takenteps has safe sport to explain to athletes how this process works, and do you believe the sport's governing bodies and athletes have a complete understanding of your authority, and how your investigative process works so they would not hesitate to come forward? >> i think we are in that stage of getting the word out, and building trust among the 13 million individuals that are part of the limbic and paralympic movements. -- part of the olympic and paralympic movements. trainings, education, i will say the usoc has helped us with a couple of psa's that are being shown on national television and at events. we are looking to continue these sorts of partnerships with all
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of the national governing bodies and the usoc, because they have direct access to all of their members. we are working on information on our website, we have to make that consistent across all of and that is being worked out right now. >> thank you. >> the chair would like to welcome to the dais congressman doug lamborn from colorado springs, colorado. we will recognize the vice-chairman. >> thank you very much. you turn to tabs seven, you will see the recommendations from the working group for safe training environments. what specific events led to the creation of the working group in 2010? >> the working group was created
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in the aftermath of many allegations that came out in 2010. while that begin to work on its own issue, we developed a group to look more broadly across the system. >> in response to the 2010 working group's recommendation, the usoc launched safe sport in 2012. a safe sport working group was established in 2013 to recommend case management for sexual misconduct cases should be consolidated under a new independent entity with an independent board. as you will see in cap eight -- not8, the center was launched until march, 2017. why did it take seven years since the working group was created, and three years from the u.s.approving senate for safe sport until that
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center was launched? >> it did take too long. there is some reasons while it so long, funding, and insurance issues, and trying to get all of the governing bodies that preceded the center, which was to put in mandatory requirements, and get them into compliance. it took too long, and we were get it did not take place sooner given the tragedy that occurred. handle any cases for sexual misconduct for the national governing bodies, or assist those ngb's prior to the center's launch in 2017? there is an escalation process, and at times, and issue could not be resolved in a national governing body, it can be escalated up to the usoc, and there were a number of cases we were involved in.
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it is superior for it to go to an independent body like it does today. >> with those cases, if somebody this aned, or there was party action, would it show up on the centers website if you can check if someone is disciplined? >> our lists are very incomplete today. it is one of the first things we need to do, have consistency among the ngb's collecting that information. it all needs to be put together in one database where everyone will have transparency to it. that does not exist today. that you will did, you started in 2010 and worked with safe sport before the center was opened up. are your cases in a database where people can search it so they can see who has been banned, or have you given that information to the center and you can research it there? >> we have that information on
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thewebsite to read >> is center for safe sport, does the u.s. center for safe sport rely for anysoc or the ngb's investigational purposes? center is not relying on us for investigational purposes. they are an independent body. >> your role is just funding? >> funding and advice on broader issues. >> but not investigating? >> not investigating, we have no you in that area >> indicated in your oral statement that 90% -- how has usa policies procedures
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changed in regarding this -- misconduct claims since the center was launched in 2017? of thatthe course transition, we started july 1 of last year. 75 complaints have gone to the center for safe sport. they handle the adjudication and the initial complaints. we are here to support it anyway we can. andou have heard concerns, since you were involved in swimming and the creation of the center for safe sport and starting your own program in 2010. were you not concerned about the amount of time it took to launch the center for safe sport? >> it should have been started earlier. we take us possibly for our own problems. regardless of what time it took to get the independent group working, we think it is great and we want to support it. >> i appreciate that.
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there are a lot of positives we are not going over today. i wish i could tell countless stories of people who have benefited from these programs but we have to take care of the problems too. >> the chair will recognize -- >> thank you, mr. chair. athletes safety policies are implemented correctly. last year, the olympic committee retained consulting conducted an audit of the u.s. olympic committee and all national governing bodies to assess their implementation of a new safe sport requirement. the chief of paralympic sports and national governing body, organizational development told the judiciary committee last year that there were a unique one-time audit. the 2017 audit
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recommended the olympic committee address 10 areas in need of improvement. learnriefly, what did you from having those audits conducted, and implementing these recommendations? was it a useful process? >> yes, it is a very useful process, and audits will be a part of what we do going forward. what we learned, and we were putting in new processes and procedures, some have better capabilities to quickly adopt change, others require more help. have come up to standard, and we will be repeating that audit process on a rotating basis to ensure we are compliant. >> as part of this audit work, we found that two of our witnesses, in volleyball and tae kwon do, had areas to make recommendations on how they could do so.
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the value of these audits is clear. going forward, it is important to regularly assess safe sport policies and their implementation to ensure they are effective in protecting the athletes. what i want to ask you mrs. pfohl, if her organization plans to undertake performance audits to ensure it is meeting the needs of sports is in charge of protecting. the new legislation, the protecting young victims and safe sport authorization act calls on the center to perform random audits of the ngb'sl. we intend to do that, resources permitting. >> what is the center of say doingdoing -- safe sport to reduce the likelihood of abuse? >> we actually have an upside
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consultant coming in to go through the cases we have already closed to determine if there is something that we missed, something we could have done better. over our first year, we are already doing a look back to say how did we do? , weill continue to do that will continue to look at policies. we are always looking for best practices and when we see practices and new policies that need to be put into place, we will do so. >> do you plan to have regular audits of safe sport audits? >> absolutely. >> do you have resources to do the audits? >> i would say our resources are terms ofn that area in self audits, if you will. our goal, and a high priority
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for our board, we will find the resources to be able to do it. >> thank you, and finally do you land have audits of the governing bodies to be sure they are implementing their safe sport policies? >> yes, sir. that is called for in the safe sport -- act. >> beyond audits, what can be done to protect athletes? perspective, we need to empower the athletes. we need to hear their voices and keep them involved in the process is. that is something we have not done, and something we have learned over the last eight years. >> that is a good point, and thank you to be at how would we do that? what is the structure by which to empower their voices? >> we need to invite them to be part of the process. we started our working group, a combination of olympic athletes,
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local coaches, board members, six women and five men to vet where we have been and where we need to go. >> does anyone else want to add to that? add we are focusing on the aftermath. one of the important things we can do is education to prevent and that education to and down toe ngb's every gym and dojo. we need to enlist the boys and girls club's, and other organizations, and get parents educated so people know how to spot the signs of grooming, and signs that may lead to abuse. >> with that, i yield back. will recognize dr. burgess for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. i have been on the subcommittee for a long time. this is -- this has been one of
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the most difficult hearings to research and prepare for. i appreciate everyone participating today because it is important we get it right. focused on the positive aspects, and unfortunately we are not able to spotlight because of the nature of the hearing. i have a university in my district, my staff handed me a newspaper article from last month, april 16. they registered the highest score in the championship, you are in this for the athletes, and that is for the right reason. the benefits returned from these programs are significant for the athletes themselves. the colleges and universities and communities where they reside. we do not want to lose sight of that fact even though what we
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are looking into is astonishing. as someone with a medical background, one thing that has been difficult for me is how medical professionals have caused this damage. individual is licensed in the state of michigan, but not in the state of texas. under our current laws, states are responsible for licensing the people who provide medical care within their borders. ms. perry, my question is do you, and i will ask ms. pfohl the same thing. this individual not licensed in texas was providing services, care, whatever he did at the
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ranch in texas, not licensed by the state of texas. ensuringu go about physicians that are taking care of your athletes are compliant with licensing obligations? i will start with you and then go to ms. perry. -- that isone white one reason why we have our independent investigation, to find out how these occurred. there are supposed to be background checks and certification checks. i may have to defer to my colleague, the national governing bodies are responsible for licensing their physicians. happen,ks are meant to and the investigation will help us understand if they did or not, and why. not happen in this case, and ms. perry, i guess when an individual signs on to a training program with a ranch
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like this, presumably for some type of consent, is that not correct? >> first, i want to say it is horrific. every day that i wake up, i think about how do we make sure, as an entity, that we are doing everything we can to protect our athletes. that is why i took this position in december. one of the things we are looking talked about,ns is finding the facts that could have led up to such a horrible situation. having the independent investigation is important to us, and important to me to learn so that we can make sure we go down the right path. one of the things that i looked i didediately was that not want our athletes to ever return to a place where they had abuse. as you know, we closed the
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ranch. that was very important. going forward, i think it does make a big difference that as a national governing body, we look at everything, our structure, our policies, our system, our medical. to thehold ourselves higher standard. ultimately, we represent and advocate our athletes. i am committed to that every day. >> to point out the obvious, you had an unlicensed vision taking care of people. i do not know if the parents were apprised of the facts, he was not licensed in the state of texas, he was going to be participating in the training program. wrong on so many levels, and unfortunately we see the consequences of that. i have to ask, who paid for this doctor? is it something the parents had to pay for, or the ranch?
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who was responsible for paying for this? >> from my understanding, he was a volunteer, but he was paid expenses. i believe everybody knows he was an employee of michigan state, but he was a volunteer for usa gymnastics. i have so many, more questions, and i will submit them for the record. i thank you for your testimony today. it underscores how important it is we get this right. we think we have it right, and it turns out we did not have it right, and years later you have to deal with the problems from not getting it right. it is important that we are right on this. thank you mr. chairman. >> the chair will recognize the gentleman from illinois. >> i want to begin with a statement about your testimony, mr. davis. i am from the chicago area. i think it is shocking that
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after being banned for abusing underage girls, appealed that lifetime ban, and was reinstated to read it is incredible. it wasn't until january until 2018 this year that there is a lifetime ban. this underscores the problem that has occurred over so many years. anyone in this room, the women know, if someone has abused underage girls, reinstating him is so unacceptable. he should have been in jail. in today's world he would have, i hope he would have. arlene like to recognize in the audience, if you would stand, if she is still here. she is an olympic athlete and tae kwon do coach. months ago, and she shared with me chilling stories
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about sexual abuse at training camps and competition. mr. mcnally, last year three of your athletes were awarded $60 million in damages, a total love, after a judge found the coach sexually abused them. you are familiar with that, correct? >> yes, i am. antae kwon do permitted athlete and coach to participate in a 2016 olympics even though there were unresolved sexual misconduct allegations against them. safe sport recommended an interim ban against those individuals just this year. are you familiar with this matter? >> yes, i am. >> in the case of john lopez, you mentioned alterable investigations in attempts to andafter lopez in 2013
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2016, but my understanding is that these efforts were unrelated to sexual abuse. is that true? >> yes, that is true. this hearing is about sexual abuse. isn't it also true that it was that mr. lopez was sanctioned for sexual misconduct? >> yes, that is correct. >> i think that identifies a problem here. your march 20 1, 2018 letter to this committee indicated there are roughly two dozen individuals facing suspensions or lifetime bans from your sport . were any of these reported to law enforcement? >> i believe, yes. some of them came from law enforcement through cases where they were charged. they were suspended to read some of them went to prison.
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i do not know about every case historically. that. over earlier than every case has been, with the criminal element has been turned over to law enforcement. >> i would like to know how many of the roughly two dozen have been referred to law enforcement. you will get that to me, right? >> i will. do,ow is it usa tae kwon how is tae kwon do addressing the assistant coaches and team managers that may have had a role in covering up sexual abuse in your sport? get,ery report that we that is submitted to you -- similar to us -- >> i am asking a different question. if there are individuals, individuals that are silent,
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covering up, that do not tell you. i think for every one of these cases of sexual abuse, someone knew about it, and did not say anything. what is the process there? >> we are looking to empower the , encouraging athletes to come forward and be more open. i believe i have regained the trust of the athlete community, they know i will deal with this if it comes to me. i would encourage anybody who has been silent up until now -- what about the coach community now? there are assistant coaches and staff. has knowledge of anything, however small, however serious, i encourage them -- >> i am still asking a different question. what do you know about people who have been silent and knew of these abuses? is there any sanction at all? >> we deal with every report that comes to us.
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that is why in 2015, usaid tae kwon do preceded the safe sportscenter by pointing out -- ask guess i will have to the question more precisely in writing because my time is up. it seems to me whether it is reported or not, that you ought to do in quarries to find out who stood by and watched sexual abuse occur, and i have to yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from indiana, ms. brooks, the chair of ethics committee in the house. >> thank you, mr. chairman. , i would like to focus a number of questions on you. if you would turn to tab 9. complaints and allegations regarding sexual abuse since the center launched in 2018. this is a significant number of cases.
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given the significant number of cases that your center has received, how is the center prioritizing cases in any way, if you are? i have a number of questions, so if we can be brief. >> thank you, congresswoman. we triage the cases as they come in. if they need to go to law enforcement, that happens. we are putting in interim measures. are active, if it involves a minor, those are prioritized. >> can you share with us in tab 9, as we have already heard, allegations come from 35 to 40 ngb's, and how are you working toh the ngb's and athletes make sure that they are familiar that safe sport, that the center exists, and the policies and procedures. how do we make sure athletes
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know you exist? >> great question. i think we are up to 38 of the ngb sports. 38 of the 48 have allegations. >> correct. 38 that we have received at least one report. we work with the ngb's we have now, a full-time ngb resources manager. her job is to indicate with the consistentve them information, to listen to them, for them to tell us what we need. for example, they needed parents toolkits. we have a parent toolkit on our website that anyone can access. gb's notny nbb cooperating with you? >> no, ma'am. >> i understand they have
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resources, but is it fair to say that they are all cooperating with you? >> to the best of my knowledge, every ngb is cooperating. >> a program was established to keep our athletes safe. has this program been set up yet, and established the time and application of that grant? >> we have not seen the guidance coming out regarding that grant program, but we look forward to it. >> it was the $2.5 million grant program? >> yes. >> if the u.s. center for safe quired this grant, and we establish this grant program, authorized by congress, and passed in the omnibus, how would those grants be used if the u.s. center for safe sport were used? >> to expand our response, our responsive resolution to add more investigators, also
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remember the bill did call for us to do regular and random ngb's so we can get word out to the athletes, directly to athletes. >> have the audit start to be done yet? >> no, we do not have resources to do the audits. >> have you made any requests of the usoc? >> no, ma'am. not since the support from the usoc, we are looking to 2019, and looking at the contributions from the national governing bodies. thanks for stepping up to say you can do more. >> there is no statute of limitations with regards to the reporting. >> correct. >> or with regard to your investigations. >> correct. >> and there has been some
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criticism, what is the center doing to ensure athletes can trust the center's independence and reporting of these allegations. >> absolutely. i do not answer to anyone at the the nationalf governing bodies. nor does anyone on my team. >> do you expect funding to come from the usoc? >> our goal is to diversify that funding. we are looking at foundation funds, and some of that is coming in now. if we are able to receive federal dollars, it will help diversify as well. i cannot imagine a time where would not bengb's investigating this space. i think they should be, and we will continue to be, but i also pick weekend diversify that, especially in the area of intervention. submitting a record
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for all of the panelists, and commending usa gymnastics for beginning that athlete task force, and my time is up. ngv's -- >> the chair will recognize ms. clark for five minutes. >> i think the ranking members for holding this hearing on this important topic on how we must protect our nation's most elite club of athletes. being an olympian is a coveted title, not easily given, and it is not limited by age, with the youngest 13 years old. this productive youth who display exceptional abilities should not have worried if they will be violated by trusted coaches or any adults in the room. given what we have learned through the sentencing of dr. larry nassar, it is congress's
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responsibility and obligation to ensure that the strong and appropriate measures are put in place so the trust of personnel are held accountable to the highest standard of conduct. having said that, ms. lyons, the u.s. olympic committee threatened usa gymnastics with the certification. the committee demanded all members of usa gymnastics deny, which they did. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> the u.s. olympic committee -- use its authority authority, and can demand changes as it did with gymnastics. documents provided show that they have different policies on key safety issues. some sports governing bodies make lists of band coaches, --
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banned coaches, and other members make it publicly available. others do not. what do some governing bodies post public list, while others do not? i think that consistency is an incredibly important part of what we need to achieve going forward. today, they are very different. it is a complicated issue. we need to figure it out, and ensure that centralized information is provided by every open to theis public. will you be doing that? is that something you will enforce? >> that has been added to my to do list this week. >> your letter to us states the olympic committee recognizes the need for greater transparency with respect to sexual assault.
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should not there be uniform policy regarding the lists? area where the lipid committee demanded governing bodies make these changes, what is your timetable? -- they are very different in size. they are very different in their technological capabilities. i am guessing we need to provide a technology tool that can be used by those that do not have their own tools. i cannot speculate on the timeframe, but we will put that on an urgent path because i cannot see how that is not an important part. >> where there is need for support, this is a valuable use of resources. sports governing bodies are now required to report all new cases to the center for safe sport.
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nationally, governing bodies are to send pre-2013 cases to safe sport. a recent headline reads, usa gymnastics makes puzzling decision to keep sexual abuse case. how do we know cases predating safe sport's opening are being addressed appropriate leak? >> the center has the option to take pre-existing cases if it chooses. there is a sensitivity that the victim has been through a part of the investigatory process. this may not be beneficial to them to go through it again. in those cases, the ngb's opted to keep -- >> who is examining that to ensure there is transparency? and coherence to a standard, and there is no short shifting in terms of determining what rises
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to the occasion of crime, and what does not? i when i read the article, had a similar question. i am not certain of the answer, but i will be looking into it. we should make sure the center is aware of all these cases, and has the option to take them if they feel it is appropriate. >> i hope you will give scrutiny to that. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair will recognize the jenin from michigan -- the chair will recognize that gentleman from michigan. >> thank you. coming from michigan, this issue hits close to home, sadly. suat happened at usag and m under larry nassar is terrible, unacceptable, unexplainable. thankfully, hundreds of brave young women came forward to tell
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their stories, help put the --i wouldr. nassar change that, the predator, nassar behind bars. and close the chapter on one of many incidents we have heard about. , thankside, ms. pfohl you for stating the u.s. center for safe sports mission statement. and restating it as well. it is good to hear. the mission statement for the u.s. olympic committee states it this way. its mission is to support u.s. olympic and paralympic competitive excellence while demonstrating the values of human big movement thereby inspiring all-americans. this incident follow the mission of the usoc? theirst, i would say
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athletes do continue to inspire all-americans. sadly, the institutions that support those athletes have not inspired confidence, trust, or have lived up to our mission and values. we regret that that has occurred. that is one reason we are embarking on the action plans we have discussed, he could the athletes deserve to have everyone believe that the work that they do, and what the olympic stands for should be held in the highest esteem. we have let them down. >> i appreciate you stating that, knowing you were not there in this position at the time this went down. i think it is important that the commitment to that mission statement is affirmed and affirmed further. perry, i would also ask similarly, what happened in the predator, mr.
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nassar, and usa gymnastics remotely resembled the mission statement i just read? >> i was there at the hearings. that everyay first moment that i think about what our athletes went through, it energizes me and gives me a sense of resolve. every single day to make sure we are focusing our organization on athlete safety. as an organization, one of the first things i did in december was to look at the mission statement of usa gymnastics, and we changed that mission statement. our mission statement now focuses on empowering our athletes, and focusing on athlete safety, and making sure we educate our members to that extent. i will tell you it is something everything ok i think about.
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we want to do whatever we have to do as an organization to make sure we present, as you will mentioned, one case of sexual abuse is one too many. >> i appreciate that. let's look back a bit. public reports indicate that in 2015.ew officials shortly thereafter in july, 2015. in addition to notifying the fbi, did usag implement any while then dr. nassar fbi conducted its investigation to make sure athletes were not -- that is my understanding mr. nassar was asked to step away. there is a really important investigation going on right now, as you mentioned.
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it is critically important for all of us that we can shed light on what happened. >> did he step away? >> did he step away at that point? it is my understanding that he did, but i would need to seal the facts around the. >> i encourage you to check those facts. there were still in involvement that went on. at the very least, there was a cover-up. things were not transparent or clear. i think that added to the frustration of athletes, parents, and the general public as well. i would encourage you to continue looking for those questions. make sure it never happens again. >> i understand, and i will be relentless in my efforts every day. i believe the investigation is going to provide a lot of
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information that i think i and many others, would like to see. >> thank you, i yield back. >> the chair will recognize the gentleman from california, ms. walters for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to say as a mother of four whose kids play local organized sports growing up, this is a difficult hearing topic. it is upsetting to think my kids and their teammates could have been coached by someone who had a history of misconduct. it is more disturbing to think i and the rest of the parents would not have known if that was the case, because as we recently learned, in most cases, lists containing the name of banned coaches is not public information. ngb's have different policies whether they would -- they maintain lists, and if they publicize the lists.
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the committee asked all for -- all 48 ngb's and the usoc whether they maintained a list of individuals banned from participation with the ngb, and if the list was available. list that isa available to the public. others reported to the committee that they share lists with their members, but do not publish these lists. have banned lists only shared with -- or have not suspended any individuals but would make a list of public if they were to do so. as you can see, there is a wide variation whether the ngb's and usoc make their list publicly available. there are benefits to having a publicly available list. -- why have these
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lists not been made of the glee available? >> we will be working with our ngb partners, and to find a good wave that that information is available, transparent and in a centralized place where people can find it. it does not exist today, but it will be a priority for us to make that happen. makingwill consider public a list of all suspended individuals? >> yes, i think a number of things will get on the new compliance list that have not been there before as we exercise more authority in this area. gb but the suspended person on a list, with date grant that to an olympic center or event? >> that should not occur to read if that is available to us, we have to follow procedures to ensure someone cannot get onto an olympic training site or training center that they would
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not be certified to go to games that we were supervising. availability of the information is critical. the right procedures in place to keep them from entering, but you have to know that they are banned. any mail from 2016, somebody suspended by usa tae kwon do for five years did a serious sport violation. according to the email, notwithstanding the suspension, they were issued a day pass for the high-performance center in rio. usa was not requested by tae kwon do, and this individual is not someone we would grant access to. it continues, it appears one of our coaches went to the usoc staff with the request without our approval, and somehow obtained the past.
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another coach complained about this person being around female athletes. thisae kwon do banned individual for five years, and at the rioted access olympics. how do you explain this? >> it certainly should not have happened, and it points to why we have a commission to point to these gaps. that information needs to be available for those people in those venues. it should have happened in any case. >> i want to highlight with the email also said. it went on to say, help me understand how this could have happened, as these have happened consistently in the past. this is not an isolated incident. neither is it something we can't ignore, given the seriousness of the adjudicated complaints. my point is, if this is something that consistently happen, how did it possibly consistently happen? >> it is not an appropriate
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check in place. better, and we have to find out why that happened, and make sure it does not happen in the future. >> i am out of time, i yield back. >> i reckon eyes the german from georgia for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ms. perry, i have the honor and privilege of representing the first congressional of georgia. have you ever heard of it? >> yes. >> yes, i am sure you have. withre aware of a lawsuit usa gymnastics settled last month? >> recently. >> beginning of april, that is correct. let me ask you, to give you an idea of what happened here, there was a gentleman, a gymnast who opened up a gym in 2002.
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gym, and in a newspaper story, his name was bill mccabe, he is in prison for 30 years. in 2002, he opened up a gym. the newspaper said mccabe and a new partner opened a gymnastic studio in georgia. both are usa gymnastics professional members, and safety certified. a gymnastic skilled evaluator, and has been teaching since 1991. what happened is that the mother of an eight-year-old and rolled her daughter there, and what happened was for three years until the middle of 2005, that daughter was in classes there with this sexual predator, is essentially what he was. what happened was, she went to her car and she found an
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envelope on her car. it had details about what previous problems that bill mccabe had had. she took and called usa gymnastics, and this is what she said. i spoke to a woman, and i had complaint against bill mccabe. i asked if she had complaint against him, and she said no. if you look back on his record, you find in october of 1996, he was fired from gymnastics world in fort myers florida because he was bragging to a colleague about his efforts to coerce a 15-year-old cheerleader to have sex with him. in july of 1997, he was fired from five star gymnastics in kentucky following an incident. parents have complained that he exposed his genitals to some gymnasts. it goes on and on to tell about all of these things before 2002 at this gentleman had done.
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in fact, he had been fired from another area, and they sent a packet to usa gymnastics detailing all of these situations that he had been involved in. and yet, no response whatsoever. do you ever do background checks on any of your coaches like this? >> first of all, let me say -- >> do you ever do background checks on any of your coaches like this? it is a yes or no question. >> there are background checks being done currently. >> did you do background checks on him? is in jail predator for 30 years. did you do background checks on him? >> i was not there. >> find out who was there, because i need an answer. was sentenced to jail, after he was imprisoned, a civil
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lawsuit was filed. for five years until it was just recently settled out of court last month, for five years, you argued that you had no >> i did not argue that. >> who did? >> i started december 2017. let me say this. >> this is ridiculous. how you can work for an organization like this that let this happen -- i have sat here through this whole hearing. there is one thing i have not heard from any of you. that is, i'm sorry. i have not heard from anyone of you say to the parents, to the children, to the grandparents, i'm sorry. that is despicable. >> let me answer if i can. rep. carter: answer what? if you don't want to say you are sorry, i don't want to talk to you.
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i am reclaiming my time and i'm going to tell you this cannot be tolerated. wrotemy understanding you in an email about a former usa sentwon do athlete who information, filed an ethics complaints, you wrote this sounds like the same old bs. did you write that? in are you currently the acting director, ceo of the usoc? >> i am. rep. carter: you should resign right now. that insensitivity tells me you are not fit. >> your time has expired. >> i would like to take a moment of personal privilege. >> let me sit in the first. let the record reflect the u.s. olympic committee and the ngb's represented here acknowledge responsibility for previous actions. with that i recognize a moment of personal privilege.
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>> not only that, they all apologized to the victims and their parents. , who wasre, ms. perry relentlessly badgered by mr. carter, was brought in in december to fix this. i hope she does fix it. >> she was on the board of directors when this happened. >> the gentleman is no longer recognized. we going to proceed with our questioning. >> mr. chairman -- >> i believe it is important for us to clarify. i do not believe ms. perry was on the board of directors, mr. carter. i have met with ms. perry after .he began ok. but for the record, ms. perry, who is now leading usa gymnastics, was not on the board of directors. >> thank you for the clarification. let's stay on track. this is an important hearing. we're going to stay on message.
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the chair will now recognize mr. costello. >> if we could have everyone turned to cap 20, i have a question for ms. lyons and then ms. perry. 2012emo referenced in discusses a requested ngo's provide feedback to the u.s. oc on the community reaction to the usoc insist on terminal back projects. 10 never responded. 35 did respond, but required some form of background check at the time. the two cited obstacles. ms. lie on's, how much yons, howe -- ms. l much resistance to the usoc receive? >> i was not part of this program, i do not know.
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for the reasons but there, people were not putting that at the highest of their priority list. the fact that the usoc to not begin requiring background checks until two years after this memo, why was there a delay? be puttingity would in the practical application of doing the background check did take some time. >> any other reasons? gett takes a long time to 49 organizations to consistently adhere to any change. rep. costello: ms. perry, usa gymnastics practice him a crunchy thousand five was to allow people to self certify their criminal background. when usoc begin to require an actual background check? >> i am not clear on that date. i will tell you right now for
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the last several years, usa gymnastics has required background checks for hiring of professionals and in addition to that, has other kind of requirements. club owners and others are looking to hire individuals. one of those is to make sure they consult with our public facing ineligible list and suspended list. an answerou provide in writing? >> yes. rep. costello: to all ngb is, what results might show up that would require -- that would lead europe -- that would lead you to terminate membership? >> any criminal charges. rep. costello: anything? shoplifting? >> anything. rep. costello: if an individual who is already a member does a routine follow-up background check, what action would you take?
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>> if anybody with a felony, a pending felony charge would be suspended and given the opportunity for a hearing in front of our ethics committee. rep. costello: how about a misdemeanor? >> a misdemeanor is not a problematic referral to the ethics committee. it would depend on the seriousness. rep. costello: any misdemeanor that involves any physical altercation, salts, or anything of a sexual nature? >> it would. anything including violence. if a failing: background check does not lead to terminating membership, what would? >> i don't like that question because i don't think it is clear. your policies do require background checks on athletes in addition to coaches, volunteers, and the like? usa tae kwon do does not
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require background checks on athletes. >> usa swimming, no. >> usa gymnastics, no. >> usa volleyball, no. rep. costello: ok. , as other ngb's begin implementing background check requirements and the issue of sexual abuse rose to prominence, why didn't usa tae kwon do act faster? >> i will have to supply that following the hearing. i was not there. i believe they were implemented in late 2013. all ngb, how: for far into the past to background checks go? started ineyball 2004. >> i believe it is as far back as the records.
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if there is a felony from 2000, that will show up. rep. costello: that was my question, mr. davis. the background check on that take individual goes back to when? >> i'm unclear on how the process works. i believe it goes back as far as -- when they turn 18. rep. costello: i yield. >> the chairman will now recognize the gentleman from florida. >> thank you for allowing me to sit in on the hearing. to nationalame district because survivors were willing to speak up. it was their bravery that shined a light on the problems within the national sports organizations and how the system previously in place had failed them. -- how are youh involving survivors and other athletes in your decision-making
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process and policy changes moving forward? >> we think the voice of the athletes is critically important. i wish many of the survivors would contact us. we are prevented due to some of the litigation from reaching out to them directly. we would welcome their voices. we have just done a 1000 athlete survey. we have received 1000 responses to get our population helping us to understand what their concerns are. we have been meeting with our athlete advisory council. athletel be part of our safety panel that is going forward to help us make policy changes. >> this is something i think about everyday. one of the first things i did when i became president and ceo was i started flying everywhere and talking to athlete. some of those are survivors.
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their voice is incredibly important to me. what i have found is that there is just so much love of this sport, but there is a desire to have an impact on the organization. one of the things i created was an athlete task force to have that happen. i think it's a very important first step. talked about the advisory committee. that is important. for me is about getting in front of as many athletes as i can and making sure their voices heard. i can tell you that is something i focus on everyday. >> please continue, thank you. >> congressman, we sent out a letter to our membership encouraging any survivors to contact us for a chance to meet. i would be happy to meet with them personally.
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i had the opportunity with one survivor thus far. i am in contact with two others. as part of ourge solutions going forward. >> usa tae kwon do is one of in thegb's participating ashley climate survey, which is going to reach out to athletes and get them involved. we are working with fighting spirit, which is a group that educates on sexual misconduct and bullying to make sure those athletes learn about this before they become victims. >> we also engage in are athletes and has to make sureunsel everything is made transparent to us. we have been in contact with past victims, part of the reason how we were able to go and continue with the mr. butler case.
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>> we have two athletes on our governing board. forre establishing a state champions program where we will be able to cut across all sports to engage survivors as well as those that are passionate about preventing bullying, harassment, and all forms of visible emotional, and sexual abuse. >> these events occurred for years without repercussions. on acceptable. given -- unacceptable as far as i'm concerned. what changes has her organization made to encourage athletes to come forward with any complaints they may have? what changes have you made to encourage them to come forward? let's start here, ms. lyons. >> first and foremost we have to make sure the information on how they can come forward is made available.
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we have made a lot of website and other communications changes so people are aware and that it is a clear path. that is item one. we also need to ensure the athletes can reach out to anyone , andfeel safe to discuss to make ourselves more visibly available. i think everyone on this panel believes those voices need to be heard. councils, through working groups, whatever it takes to get those voices better heard. >> how do we ensure actions, again, the victims of -- the victims' allegations are acted on? quickly if you could respond because i don't have a lot of time. >> it is a cultural change. that is something i have embarked on from day one. the culture has to be one where athletes feel they can speak up.
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you accomplish that through a lot of different ways. through structure, policy, personnel, but nothing replaces being there in front of the athletes. nothing replaces being there advocate. as an organization, that is something i have dedicated my time, and the reason i took this job. so they would know their voice not only matters, but it's going to make a difference going forward. a very impactful difference. >> it is important, again, i am sure you know this, these allegations are acted on quickly. others we can encourage to come forward. unfortunately i do not have a lot of time so i have to yield. >> the chair will now recognize the gentleman from michigan for five minutes. andhank you chairman harper the ranking member.
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thank you for all of you being here today. colleagues, the olympians represent courage, dedication, hard work, and patriotism of our young people. we are not getting to talk about that today. they give us a reason to celebrate and support. team usa is more than a competitive team. it is 13 million young athletes across our country. michigan,lleague from i have stood witness to the irresponsible, despicable, on excusable abusive behavior has caused catastrophic damage to these young people in michigan. i have met them. sorry.oung girls -- i'm i am saddened, i am disgusted. all of us here want to make sure it happens -- it does not happen again. what is bothering me today about this hearing and about all of
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the studying we have done is it is clear the system is designed to protect athletes from the abusers fail. by the way, my colleague was correct that the doctor was asked to step away and he was very quickly back in the room. he was told there should be someone chaperoning that it did not happen. that is what is unforgivable. or that there were no systems in place to begin with. there have been far too many incidences and allegations of sexual misconduct, including allegations involving individuals associated with each of.the national governing bodies before us today . i am not reassured by your testimony because i do not hear a sense of. i keep hearing, we are going to get to this. who are these young people that need help that are not getting their?
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i have some questions here. we have heard the u.s. center for safe sports placing -- plays a key role. given how important this is, i find it concerning that it took olympicars for the u.s. committee to get safe sports off the ground. 2010, thes early as u.s. olympic committee working group for safe training environments found olympic training must do more to take a leadership role in protecting athletes. that is what you are all saying today. you all are working on it. i hope you are working on it, you're going to be transparent, too. . ms. perry, i'm glad you're here today, but a lot of people have been wanting to hear from you since you took the job. you have got to be transparent with everybody. by 2013 the group concluded the authority to address safe sports issues should be centralized
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according to the u.s. center for safe sports. safe sports was created, but was still functionally a part of the u.s. olympic committee. documents from that year indicate the olympic committee board anticipated launching safe sports in 2015. in 2015 safe sports was not functioning as intended. it was not fully operational in 2017. ms. lyons, are you familiar with this timeline? >> i am. >> documents provided today suggest a lack of funding was a reason for the delay in opening safe sports. toeptember 2015 presentation the board of directors stated the launch of the u.s. center for safe sports is contingent on raising five years worth of funding. ms. lyons, is it accurate funding prevented the usoc from launching safe sports sooner?
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>> the answer is there was a delay. if we look back, that was a mistake. thatd hoped very much other sports organizations outside of the lithic movement would participate. we spent a fair amount of time trying to make that happen. did not. in retrospect we should have funded it sooner. rep. dingell: why should i take confidence from what you are saying when you look at this timeline -- and there are only 14 people working there with some outside consultants. you keep telling me we are working on it, setting up a study. is it going to take another five years? what are we doing to protect these young people right now? >> first, i appreciate your anger and concern. i share it and i understand how frustrating it must seem and how incompetent it must seem. i will tell you 27 out of the
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last 29 board meetings, safe sports was a topic of conversation. there was a steady march of adding things. those preceded the opening of the center. there were many controls put in place, albeit not enough and not fast enough. if we could turn back time, i certainly wish we could. >> i hope everybody here realizes the time for talk is over. >> i want to thank each of you for being here today. we are almost done. i do have in response to these we asked a few questions about abuse that occurred at the hands of larry nassar. thestated you did not want
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athletes to have to return to such an emotionally painful place where they were abused. usa gymnastics terminated its agreement with the karolyi ranch. i believe that was the right decision. wasver, usa gymnastics aware of allegations against larry nassar in 2015 and made the decision to renew his contract in 2017. why was this agreement for new in april 2017 despite allegations of his abuse? >> i cannot answer that question. it is a very important question. many of these questions hopefully will be answered through the independent investigation. what i can tell you is that and many things i have done in last five months have been about the athletes. making sure the ranch was
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closed, making sure we set up an athlete assistance fund for counseling and medical services, making sure we had an athlete task force, and making sure they knew they had a voice, and restructuring to make sure we have the adequate personnel to handle the kind of volume we have. , was the u.s. olympic committee involved in the decision to renew the contract in april 2017? >> no. there are two different contracts. the usoc had a licensing contract that allowed them to be designated as a training site. the actual lease was a separate agreement. >> my question was, was the usoc involved in the decision? was the usoc aware of the decision? >> i do not know the answer. i would guess they would have not.
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the lease was coming due and it might have been under consideration. we do know they were considering buying the range. >> we will give you an opportunity to respond in writing. drugcurious, are routine screens done on coaches? yes or no from each of you. i will start with you, ms. perry. i know athletes are drug tested. are the coaches? >> i do not know the random nature of that. i will find out. >> not to my knowledge. >> i don't believe so. >> i don't believe so, but we will find out. >> just curious, is that a problem? wouldn't that be a good thing to probably do? i would encourage you to do so. i will recognize the ranking member for follow-up. >> thank you. i want to qualify -- i want to
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clarify couple of things. , mr. carteryons asked you about an article from the washington post quoting an mill by you. i wanted to give you the opportunity to respond to what you're entirely mill was, not just what mr. carter was badgering you about -- because the washington post story says, lyons wrote a heated email two ", this sounds like the same old bs," allowing a toential sexual predator coach is unacceptable," was that the full context? >> there was more. >> could you provide us a copy? >> i have not been able to find it.
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>> but do you agree you wrote those words? >> i did. to ask about what mr. mcnally was talking about, which is, as i understand it, you said there is only certain types of misdemeanors or organization investigates, it would be violent ones or sexual. is that right? >> that is correct. rep. degette: as a former criminal defense lawyer, i will say that oftentimes more serious offenses like felonies get pled down to misdemeanors. even misdemeanors that don't appear to be involving violence or sexual assault. what i wanted to ask you is, does your organization make a distinction if there is a complaint and it's a misdemeanor
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level or felony level? or would you investigate the misdemeanor as well? >> what we are looking at is, did someone breach the code of conduct, which is much broader than the law. we let law enforcement handle law enforcement issues, absolutely. certainly if someone has a criminal disposition, that plays into our investigation. that would be a breach of the safe sport coat. but we are looking at is, did someone breach the safe sport code. >> so you are looking at conduct, not legal disposition. >> correct. rep. degette: i want to make one final statement. i think everyone in this room agrees this is a terrible tragedy and we can't let it drift along. ,he organizations themselves the usoc cannot let it drift along. we have to make sure we have adequate funding so that the
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center for safe sport can do its job. as of today, i have concerns about whether they have that amount of funding given the way the number of complaints have escalated. i would ask, if you would we will have conversations with everybody, but if you will consider scheduling a follow-up hearing so we can see if these things are being implemented. >> i can assure you the subcommittee will stay on this issue. thank you. roomose individuals in the or who may be watching who have been victims, i want to thank you for having the courage to stand up. and for the role you are playing in preventing future cases of sexual assault. we will continue this fight on your behalf.
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in conclusion, i would like to thank our witnesses who have participated. i will remind members they have 10 business days to submit questions for the record. i would ask the witness is to probably respond to those if you receive those questions. subcommittee hearing is adjourned. [gavel]
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journal,washington live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. thursday morning, a former democratic congressman on the future of the farm bill after the legislation was defeated last week. we are like in madison wisconsin for the c-span bus 50 capitals
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to her with the wisconsin 50 capitals -- wisconsin governor. thursdaypan journal morning. join the discussion. here is what is life on thursday. the house is back at 9:00 a.m. eastern. on c-span2, the senate continues debate on white house nominees, including the chair of the federal department of insurance corporation -- deposit insurance corporation. c-span3, secretary pompeo is back on capitol hill testifying at a senate foreign relations committee hearing at 10:00 eastern. this weekend on afterwards, former national intelligence director james clapper with his book, facts and fears. hard truths from a light in
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intelligence. he is interviewed by democrat jim himes. >> what do you think the risks and opportunities are of the trump foreign policy? to look for areas where i can be supportive of president trump and his foreign policy, whatever it turns out to be. with where, i agreed he came out on afghanistan. i know it was a teleprompter speech, but i thought he said the right things. we need to stay there. as undesirable as many may view that. i thought that was the right call. i supported president trump's acceptance of the invitation to have a summit with kim jong-un. i don't know her that is going to go. potentialall kinds of
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pitfalls, but why not try something different? >> watch afterwards, sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span two's book tv. speeches, next week in prime time. monday at 8 p.m. eastern. oprah winfrey, steve scalise, rob rosenstein. the me too movement founder, the haley,ks coo, and nikki wednesday at 8 p.m. eastern, hillary clinton, rex tillerson, james mattis, and justin trudeau. ceosday at 8 p.m., apple tim cook, john kasich, kate brown, and congresswoman luis gutierrez -- congressman luis gutierre


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