Lawmakers seek better funding for Olympic sex-abuse crisis

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 10:50 Written by  Read 14 times
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(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Lawmakers used an emotionally charged House subcommittee hearing to get answers about what they portrayed as the U.S. Olympic Committee's slow-moving, underfunded response to a steadily widening sex-abuse scandal in Olympic sports.

CEO Shellie Pfohl of the U.S. Center for SafeSport spoke Wednesday during a hearing that had one representative choking back tears and another screaming at the witnesses.

Pfohl told lawmakers that when the office opened in 2017, it received 20 to 30 calls a month. She said in the wake of the #MeToo movement and the Larry Nassar sentencing, it's increased to 20 to 30 per week.

Despite the widening workload, the center has only 12 investigators and operates on an annual budget of $4.3 million.

Pfohl said she's always in search of more money. The USOC's acting CEO, Susanne Lyons, conceded seven years was too long to get the center up and running.

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