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Senator calls for new panel to scrutinize U.S. Olympic Committee

Senator calls for new panel to scrutinize U.S. Olympic Committee
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) at the Capitol in Washington on Dec. 31. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

A Republican senator from Colorado wants to establish a commission to evaluate, and perhaps recommend changes to, the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Sen. Cory Gardner introduced the legislation on Thursday while insisting that his state is “proud” of the USOC, which is headquartered in Colorado Springs.

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“But we know we can do better,” Gardner said.

The proposed commission would consist of 16 members who have experience in athletics, advocacy and coaching. Half of them would be Olympians or Paralympians.

The USOC has come under fire in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal, with a recent report stating the organization was part of a culture that “facilitated” Nassar’s long history of sexual misconduct.

Gardner’s commission would address a number of issues, including board diversity and oversight of the national governing bodies that manage each Olympic sport in the U.S. Any suggested policy changes would be reported directly to Congress.

"We appreciate all the efforts of Congress over recent years and will continue to work constructively with both the House and the Senate," USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said in a statement.

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