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A former leader of the organization that chooses athletes for Olympic track and field competitions said a federal Department of Justice investigation into the U.S. Olympic system is an unfortunate by-product of the way international competition is regulated in the United States.
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Doug Logan, a former CEO of USA Track & Field, said the DOJ's investigations are “sickening,” and he called it “the regrettable by-product of the absurd way we govern, or don’t govern, Olympic sports."
“We go around the world, beating our chest that we don’t use public monies for our athletes," Logan told FoxBusiness.com. "We fail to say that we have an Olympic governing body, with no oversight from Congress, self-perpetuating, making multi-million dollar deals in the dark — unchecked capitalism gone wild.”
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that there are multiple probes into the U.S. Olympics system and its related organizations. Investigators are exploring a number of issues, ranging from sexual abuse to financial improprieties. All of this comes against the backdrop of the sentencing of Dr. Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor who was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison as part of a plea deal on seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, involving more than 156 girls and women over more than two decades.
The Larry Nassar scandal is the biggest sexual abuse scandal in sports history. Nassar’s victims, who include some of the most famous female athletes around today, including Simone Biles and McKayla Maroney, outnumber the alleged victims of Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby combined.
The Nassar scandal, as highlighted in the Wall Street Journal’s reporting on Friday, underscores an organization that tried to cover-up allegations in an effort to squash the issue.
This is part of a deeper systemic problem, Logan said.
“It’s one thing to be asleep at the switch. That’s just garden-variety negligence," Logan said. "Willful blindfolds, earmuffs and mute buttons to protect the brand are just simply criminal. I am glad the Department of Justice is involved. I hope the investigation is thorough and justice is served."
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Logan, who is retired and living in Florida, is a long-time sports and entertainment executive and was notably the first commission of Major League Soccer.“I have been away from the Olympic movement for nine years. I still care deeply about its ideals," he said. "The revelations, so far, have sickened me. I hope meaningful change is in the offing.”
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