USOPC Taken to Court by Foundation for Global Sports Development

(ATR) The GSD complaint seeks damages for breach of contract, citing USOPC's failure to protect young athletes.

(ATR) The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) is being sued by the Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD).

The GSD complaint, filed in Los Angeles in the state superior court of California, seeks damages from the USOPC for breach of contract; accounting; breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and fraud.

The GSD, according to the lawsuit, says it entered into a cooperation and grant agreement with the then-USOC in 2016. In exchange for financial assistance, the USOC was to provide GSD "the implementation and support of programming consistent with GSD’s global philanthropic objections and mission".

GSD is a non-profit charitable organization that promotes education and fair play in youth sports and works to prevent emotional and psychological abuse and sexual assault of athletes.

In the complaint, the GSD says it had already donated $500,000 under the agreement before the USOPC breached the contract by "failing to submit the required grant proposals for programming, canceling established youth programming without cause, and denying GSD specific benefits expressly provided for in the GSD-USOC Grant Agreement" among other actions.

But the complaint says "the USOC’s systematic failure to protect young athletes in USA Gymnastics and other sports from emotional abuse and sexual assault for years" was the "most egregious action" that breached the agreement between the two organizations.

The USOPC has so far not responded to a request from Around the Rings to comment on the case, which was filed on April 24.

Paul Malingagio, one of the attorneys representing GSD in the litigation, tells ATR that the USOPC asked for an extension to file its response to the complaint to allow time to investigate the allegations. He says the GSD granted an additional 15 days.

Once the USOPC files its response to the complaint, Malingagio says it is likely the court will hold a case management conference. The judge will meet with the two parties to try and settle some or all of the issues in dispute before going to trial. Should there be issues remaining that cannot be settled, the case would proceed to trial.

GSD is a sponsor of Around the Rings.

Written by Gerard Farek

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