Recommendations for an "Athletes First" USOC


Edward G. Williams and Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Co-Chairs of the Committee to Restore Integrity to the USOC have released their recommendations on how current USOC Chief Sarah Hirshland can create an “Athletes First” Olympic Committee.

“The Committee to Restore Integrity to the USOC appreciates that the CEO of the USOC,
Sarah Hirshland, reached out and met with representatives of Team Integrity when she was in
New York City on January 16, 2019. The Ropes & Gray and House Subcommittee Reports laid
bare the USOC’s broken culture, one that put “money and medals” ahead of athlete safety and
welfare, many of them children. The USOC has responded that it will reorient itself to put
“Athletes First.”

Our aim with these suggestions is to assure that “Athletes First” is not just a public relations
slogan, but that the necessary culture-shift is manifested by embedding it into the structure and
governance of the organization. The departures of Scott Blackmun and Alan Ashley did not
magically change the culture of the USOC. Other incremental changes are not appropriate with
the momentous changes called for in the two Reports. What is needed now are concrete and
demonstrable changes to the structure and governance of the USOC to send a clear message that
the U.S. Olympic movement is no longer operating “business as usual.””