Ex-Olympic medical chief says he was fired for reporting abuses

DENVER — A former U.S. Olympic medical chief says he was fired for pressing his superiors to pursue sex-abuse and other athlete-safety issues.

Bill Moreau has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. He was fired by the organization last May after working there for 10 years.

He says he made repeated efforts to push his superiors to act more decisively including one case of statutory rape that led the victim to having suicidal thoughts. 

Among the allegations in his lawsuit, Moreau claims officials mishandled the reporting the statutory rape of a 15-year-old female Paralympic athlete at the 2018 Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, according to ESPN’s report

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In another case, Moreau contends officials ignored his claims to take a suicidal athlete’s problems more seriously. She soon took her life, according to the lawsuit. 

ESPN also reported that Moreau claimed officials failed to dismiss a male strength and conditioning coach who was spotted naked in a sauna by a female athletic trainer. The incident reportedly happened at a time when the under-18 women’s gymnastics team was training at the USOPC facility.

The organization says Moreau has misrepresented the causes of his firing.

A 2017 Washington Post investigation found more than 290 coaches and officials with the United States’ Olympic sports organizations had been publicly accused of sexual misconduct since 1982. The allegations have hit coaches and trainers in gymnastics, taekwondo, figure skating, swimming and more.

The organization’s core principals include promoting and protecting athletes’ rights, safety and wellness.

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According to the University of Western States, Dr. Moreau served as the Team USA Chief Medical Officer during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, and the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games as well as serving as the Medical Director for the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games and the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.