He's Accused of 'Protecting a Child Molester.' Now, a $2.4M Payoff

Scott Blackmun, ex-CEO of US Olympic Committee, allegedly let Nassar abuse continue
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2019 8:00 AM CDT
He Failed to Act on Nassar. Then Came the Payoff
Former US Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun speaks at a US military base in Seoul, South Korea, on Aug. 1, 2017.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Gymnasts who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar just learned the man who allegedly allowed that abuse to continue walked away with $2.4 million in severance. Scott Blackmun—the former CEO of the US Olympic Committee, now dubbed the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee—learned about the accusations against the USA Gymnastics doctor in July 2015, more than a year before they would become public, per the Washington Post. Yet the committee "did nothing to investigate whether Dr. Nassar had treated any athletes at the Olympics or any other USOPC event," and didn't report him to law enforcement or ban him from events, the New York Times notes, citing a report commissioned by the committee for $5.2 million. Indeed, it found the committee "did not even discuss the sexual abuse allegations with its own department that handles sexual abuse cases," the Times notes.

"What kind of an organization gives somebody a multimillion-dollar bonus for protecting a child molester?" says John Manly, a lawyer representing almost 200 of Nassar's accusers. Demanding USOPC leadership resign, he tells the Times that "dozens of little girls" were molested after July 2015. At the time of Blackmun's ouster in February 2018, Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post described athletes as "angry at the whole lousy system that paid Blackmun ... $1 million a year" while they suffered. But Susanne Lyons, the USOPC board's chair, referenced Blackmun's January 2018 cancer diagnosis in defending the $2.4 million payment revealed Wednesday in the committee's annual tax filing. Blackmun's replacement, Sarah Hirshland, added the USOPC is "providing more resources to athletes, [national governing bodies] and [sports] programming than at any point in our organization's history." (More US Olympic Committee stories.)

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