USOPC Targeted in Whistleblower Lawsuit -- Top Story Replay

(ATR) A former staff member says he tried to report trouble to higher ups in Colorado Springs.

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(ATR) New claims are made that the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee disregarded issues involving athlete safety and welfare.

The lawsuit was filed Feb. 6 by Dr. William Moreau, former vice president of sports medicine at the USOPC. Moreau was dismissed last year from the position after 10 years on the staff.

Moreau’s suit charges he tried to report allegations of sexual abuse and advocated for more mental health care services and other concerns for athlete welfare.

"I feel like in a way, I need to give a voice to the athletes who were raped, the athletes that are hurting, the athletes that aren’t getting the care they need," Moreau is quoted in the Denver Post.

"I hope that by shining a bright light on this, maybe people will start paying attention," he tells the paper.

The federal court lawsuit is the latest action against the USOPC involving athlete safety and welfare. Survivors of the abuse perpetrated by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar have launched lawsuits seeking millions in damages from the NGB as well as the USOPC.

USOPC chief communications officer Luella Chavez D’Angelo says the claims are being examined.

"We regret that Dr. Moreau and his attorney have misrepresented the causes of his separation from the USOPC. We will honor their decision to see this matter through in the courts, and we won’t comment on the specifics as that goes forward," she says in a statement.

Moreau’s lawsuit cites examples of the problems he tried to report. One allegation says a 15-year-old female Paralympic athlete who had sex with a 20-year-old male athlete during the Drake Relays was suicidal. Moreau says he tried to report the case but that USOPC executives failed to inform law enforcement within the 24 hour reporting window required by policy.

Moreau claims he expressed concerns about the mental health of other athletes who were dealing with suicidal urges.

The lawsuit says that Moreau was fired "in retaliation for his persistent advocacy in support of public policy that – contrary to the USOC’s modus operandi – prioritized athletes’ health and safety first and foremost."

Reported by Ed Hula.