A New York Times sports reporter who was suspended earlier this month for failing to disclose a book deal with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has resigned following an ethics investigation, both the reporter and the news outlet announced Friday.
Karen Crouse, who covered sports at the Times for 16 years, wrote on Twitter that she left the publication “to pursue nascent projects that are particularly timely.”
She went on to specifically thank athletes from the U.S. Olympic team and sports leagues, including the Professional Golf Association and the Association of Tennis Professionals, as well as the New York Jets, who she said “entrusted me with their stories.”
“It has been a wonderful run - and I'm not done,” she added.
After 16 yrs I've resigned from @NYTSports to pursue nascent projects that are particularly timely. With a full heart I thank all the @TeamUSA @LPGA @PGAtour @WTA @atptour & @nyjets athletes who entrusted me with their stories. It has been a wonderful run - and I'm not done.— Karen Crouse (@bykaren) July 30, 2021
In a statement shared with The Hill, Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet said that Crouse “has resigned from The Times following our investigation related to the editors’ note” that was added to a story from her nearly a month after its initial publication.
The story, “Michael Phelps Is Not Going to the Olympics, but His Wake Is,” was reported on June 15, with a July 13 editor’s note on the story reading, “After this article was published, editors learned that the reporter had entered an agreement to co-write a book with Michael Phelps. If editors had been aware of the conflict, the reporter would not have been given the assignment."
In his Friday statement, Baquet said, “As we stated earlier, our journalists must adhere to the highest standards.”
“Our Ethical Journalism Guidelines state that no staff member may serve as a ghost writer or co-author for individuals who figure or are likely to figure in coverage they provide,” he added.
The Daily Beast first reported Crouse’s suspension earlier this month.
Times editors only learned of the deal in a Sports Illustrated story published July 9, the Daily Beast reported.
Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha said in a statement to The Hill following news of Crouse’s suspension that the publication “has robust and well-established policies and processes in place to ensure our coverage meets our high bar for independence, fairness, and accuracy.”
“As the editors’ note makes clear, the arrangement was a conflict of interest,” she continued, adding at the time that the news outlet's leadership was “reviewing this matter and will take appropriate action.”