BUTLER COUNTY, IOWA – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a rank member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, warns USA Badminton leaders of his potential criminal violations amid allegations he sought to cover up allegations of child sexual abuse and obstructed an investigation by the US Center for SafeSport (SafeSport).
“As the Nassar case illustrates, inaction can lead to many more victims, which would be intolerable,” he added. Grassley wrote.
Following Larry Nassar’s conviction, new law was passed – with Grassley’s backing – establishing important new safeguards protecting amateur athletes from abuse. Under this law, amateur sports organizations, such as 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 reported that the USA Badminton leadership has:
discouraged from reporting sexual misconduct;
encouraged the destruction or withholding of evidence;
challenged their obligations under the law; and
refused to cooperate with SafeSport.
In his letter to the president and CEO of USA Badminton, Grassley makes executives aware of their legal obligations and warns of the possibility that their interference could lead to further intolerable abuses. Grassley also alerted the FBI to these allegations.
The full text of Grassley’s letter can be found HERE.
Grassley’s letter follows recent hearing where survivors of Nassar’s abuse have testified to the need to further protect young athletes and to hold perpetrators accountable. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017, Grassley called the first congressional hearing on the protection of young athletes against sexual abuse, and co-written legislation obliging amateur sports organizations to report cases of sexual abuse. He also oversaw the US Olympic Committee’s response to the scandal involving disgraced Olympic doctor Larry Nassar. Grassley has drafted legislation to improve safeguards for young athletes and ensure proper use of funds intended to investigate allegations of abuse.