• Former Olympic chiropractor Dr. Bill Moreau filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
  • It alleges wrongful termination because he spoke up about allegations of sexual abuse as well as failing company mental health policies.
  • The organization denies this allegation.

A former official at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has filed a whistleblower lawsuit, claiming that not enough is being done to investigate allegations of abuse and assault against Olympic athletes. 

Dr. Bill Moreau, a former vice president of sports medicine at the USOPC, was fired last May after working with the organization for the past 10 years. His lawsuit alleges that he was fired after questioning how top executives and committee officials handled reports and claims of sexual abuse, mental health and harassment, according to USA Today

The lawsuit states that USOPC officials terminated Moreau due to his lack of professional credentials, such as Doctor of Medicine degree (M.D.), despite having a chiropractic degree (D.C.). Moreau’s replacement was also reported to be a chiropractor. 

In his role, Moreau coordinated patient-doctor efforts and appointments and oversaw operations and international events in which the USOPC participated. 

During this time, Moreau was alerted to an allegation of the rape of a 15-year-old athlete, which he claims he reported to management at USOPC. The USOPC officials are legally bound to report any cases of harassment or assault immediately due to the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act. 

Moreau alleges they waited five days to report the case of the 15-year-old athlete, which he brought forward at the end of April 2018, only to have it later reported in early May. He also told NPR that he reported a male coach naked in a public sauna — only to have the coach verbally reprimanded rather than fired.

Additionally, USOPC officials, namely Chief of Sports Performance Rick Adams, began an internal investigation eventually culminating in Moreau’s dismissal. 

In an NPR profile, Moreau says he was fired because he spoke up about claims of wrongdoings. This was important to him in the three years after the Larry Nasser scandal, which resulted in widespread condemnation over the USOPC’s unsupportive infrastructure to victims of assault and violence. 

“If another kid is raped or another athlete takes their life and I didn’t go to the mat and do everything I could to force change, that’s something I’d have to live with for the rest of my life,” he said. 

Moreau’s suit demands damages as well as a jury trial to force the USOPC culture to change and prioritize the treatment of athletes. A catalyst for this overhaul appears to be the suicide of Kelly Caitlin, a cyclist who committed suicide after USPOC denied her proper care, according to Moreau.  

In response to the lawsuit, Luella Chavez D’Angelo, the chief marketing and communication officer at USOPC, told USA Today that the organization is “sorry” that Moreau has “misrepresented the causes of his separation from the USOPC.”

D’Angelo said, “We [USOPC} will honor their [Moreau] decision to see this matter through in the courts. 

Published on Feb 07, 2020