Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., are proposing bipartisan legislation that, if passed, will give athletes a series of safeguards after an 18-month Senate investigation resulted in a report blaming the U.S. Olympic Committee and the FBI for covering up several years of sexual assaults of young gymnasts by former doctor Larry Nasser.
"Larry Nassar was a monster predator," Blumenthal, D-Conn., told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "He will spend the rest of his life behind bars. But he was not a lone wolf. He was enabled by the U.S. Olympic Committee and by the national governing boards. There is a long list of other predators still out there, a long list of enablers who have to be held accountable."
Blumenthal and Moran are presenting legislation that will hold the Olympics organization legally accountable and require reporting duties, including disclosing names of predators as they are found.
"The first test is whether the Olympics Committee supports the legislation," said Blumenthal.
Moran said the "very bipartisan effort" will culminate a "very serious" 18-month investigation, and he cannot see how the bill won't pass.
"It is the survivors, the athletes who came before our committee who appeared with us, who spoke of their stories, who told what happened to them, and their courage is what then requires, enables, insists that we respond by making certain that there is a result from their courageous actions," Moran said.
The athletes said the people they expected to protect them instead failed them, Moran said, and "their request was to please make certain that we are not failed by the U.S Congress. Sen. Blumenthal and I are committed to making certain that this legislation becomes law and that it protects those who are in this kind of circumstance in the future and that it provides justice for those who encountered Larry Nassar and others to date."
Blumenthal, however, said the institutions "turned a blind eye" to what was going on.
"The athletes are profiles in courage," he said. "These institutions and their officials are profiles in cowardice. We have referred one of them, former Chief Executive Scott Blackman for criminal prosecution. And another, the head of USA Gymnastics, is under state indictment."
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