COLORADO SPRINGS – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the formation of an independent advisory council to guide the launch of the United States Center for Safe Sport. The council is charged with providing industry expertise to support and inform the center during its start-up phase through June 2015.
The USOC’s board of directors unanimously approved the creation of the U.S. Center for Safe Sport in June 2014 based on recommendations from the USOC’s Safe Sport Working Group. The independent entity will oversee education programs for safe sport, and investigate and adjudicate claims of misconduct in sports that are managed by USOC-sanctioned National Governing Bodies.
“There is no national agency today that is responsible for the safety and well-being of young athletes and we’re in position to lead this important effort,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “The National Center for Safe Sport will help fill that vacuum by providing training and resources, promoting open dialogue and conducting investigations on a national level.”
The seven-member council consists of external experts and industry leaders in abuse prevention, including Tony Foreman (Oklahoma City Police Department), Angelo Giardino (Texas Children’s Hospital), W. Scott Lewis (National Center for Higher Risk Management Group), Laurie Nathan (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children), Stephanie Smith (Child Protection Training Services), Katherine Starr (Safe4Athletes) and Dr. Jeffery Wilkins (Cedars-Sinai).