Is sports on the up and up?
As the Winter Olympics competition continues, there are some huge questions that a grand jury in Brooklyn, New York is asking. They want to know about sports corruption and what the International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee can tell them. That grand jury also wants some information from soccer’s governing body FIFA about the World Cup selection process. The 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia this summer. Throw in the awarding of the International Association of Athletic Federation track and field events to Qatar in 2019 and Eugene, Oregon in 2021 and there seems to be a pattern that goes right to the integrity of sports. Is sports on the up and up? The competition on the field, court, slopes, rink and other athletic venues is not being questioned. But the organizers are being asked to cooperate and answer law enforcement questions about the awarding of Olympics and World Cup events. A grand jury in Brooklyn exposed the FIFA bribery scandal in 2015 which included indictments and convictions.
The International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee have yet to explain how they did not hear any whispers that members of the United States Gymnastic team were sexually abused by the team doctor Larry Nassar. In the United States, women’s gymnastics is the big draw on television and it so happens United States television invests billions of dollars into the Olympic movement. There are others who didn’t know including USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University which employed Larry Nassar. FIFA did not pull soccer’s crown jewel event from Russia or Qatar and the IOC has awarded Tokyo, Beijing, Paris and Los Angeles future Olympics. The awarding of the 2021 track and field event to Eugene is being scrutinized by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service. It is unclear where the Brooklyn Grand Jury is headed. But the Games Must Go On.
The IOC has some explaining to do.