Women’s NBA boss to lead US Olympic Committee athlete safety group

WNBA president Lisa Borders, pictured in 2017, will chair the new athlete and national governing body engagement commission

Washington (AFP) – Acting in the wake of sex assault cases involving American athletes, the US Olympic Committee on Wednesday named Women’s NBA president Lisa Borders as chair of the new athlete and national governing body engagement commission.

The group will evaluate the entire US Olympic and Paralympic structure with an eye to better ensuring the safety of athletes as part of a USOC safety and advocacy action plan developed in the wake of the Larry Nassar gymnastics sex abuse scandal.

More than 200 athletes have testified to being abused by for US Olympic team doctor Nassar, who is now in prison for sexual assault and child pornography.

Others have criticized the USOC for inaction in chasing down reports of abuse, not only in gymnastics but notably in taekwondo.

“I am eager to engage in this process with the hope of assisting the US sports community in emerging from this crisis stronger and further evolved,” Borders said. 

“Athletes of all ages and ability levels deserve to have safe environments in which to train and compete.”

The commission will review how the USOC interacts with 49 sport national governing bodies and how to better engage.

It will be comprised of at least seven members, including athlete, governing body and independent representatives. It will be finalized later this month and make recommendations to the USOC in the coming months, a USOC statement said.