Facing intense scrutiny from the Larry Nassar scandal, the U.S. Olympic committee defended its chief executive officer and addressed Nassar’s victims at a 2018 Winter Olympics news conference Friday in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Committee chairman Larry Probst started by apologizing to the gymnasts who Nassar abused during his long career as a USA Gymnastics and Michigan State team doctor. In total, more than 260 women say they were sexually abused by Nassar, who could face up to 300 years in prison for his disgraceful crimes.
Larry Probst, USOC head, to the Nassar victims: "The Olympic system failed you, and we are incredibly sorry."
— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) February 9, 2018
U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst in Korea addresses Larry Nassar with a familiar response. "We think that we did what we were supposed to do. Could we have done more? Of course…"
— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) February 9, 2018
The scandal has already resulted in resignation of every USA Gymnastics board member, and many are also calling for the USOC to make changes internally. But at the press conference Friday, Probst defended the organizations’s CEO, Scott Blackmun, stating that “we think that he did what he was supposed to do and he did the right thing at every turn.” Other members of the USOC board also support Blackmun.
Scott Blackmun, CEO of the USOC, will keep his job until an investigation regarding the Nassar case — a USOC-commissioned inquiry run by an outside law firm — is complete, according to Larry Probst, the organization's board chair.
— Juliet Macur (@JulietMacur) February 9, 2018
“We will take appropriate action based on the findings of that independent investigation,” Probst said.