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Grassley Pushes Amateur Sports Organization to Comply with Law amid Alleged Obstruction of Investigation into Sexual Abuse

BUTLER COUNTY, IOWA – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is warning the leadership of USA Badminton about its potential criminal violations amid allegations that it sought to conceal claims of child sexual abuse and is obstructing an investigation by U.S. Center for SafeSport (SafeSport).
“As the Nassar case exemplifies, inaction may lead to many more victims being harmed, which would be intolerable,” Grassley wrote.
In the wake of Larry Nassar’s conviction, a new law was passed—with Grassley’s support—establishing significant new safeguards protecting amateur athletes from abuse. Under that law, amateur sports organizations, like USA Badminton, are required to report any reasonable suspicion of abuse to SafeSport and law enforcement. Likewise, SafeSport is required to report to Congress whenever an organization interferes or attempts to interfere with an investigation.
In this case, SafeSport has reported that USA Badminton leadership has:
1.      discouraged reporting of sexual misconduct;
2.      encouraged the destruction or withholding of evidence;
3.      contested their obligations under the law; and
4.      refused to cooperate with SafeSport.
In his letter to the Chairman and the CEO of USA Badminton, Grassley puts leadership on notice about their legal obligations and warns against the possibility of their interference leading to further intolerable abuse. Grassley has also alerted the FBI to these allegations.
Full text of Grassley’s letter can be found HERE.
Grassley’s letter follows a recent hearing where survivors of Nassar’s abuse testified about the need to further protect young athletes and hold perpetrators accountable. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017, Grassley convened the first congressional hearing on protecting young athletes from sexual abuse, and co-authored legislation requiring amateur athletic organizations to report instances of sexual abuse. He also conducted oversight of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s response to the scandal involving disgraced Olympic physician Larry Nassar. Grassley crafted legislation to improve safeguards for young athletes and ensure proper use of funds designed to investigate allegations of abuse.