Following years of scandals within several United States Olympic Committee National Governing Bodies (NGBs), the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has hired its first Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer while also rolling out new audit standards for its NGBs. The notorious scandals which led to these steps involved the sexual abuse of young athletes by a team doctor at USA Gymnastics and by coaches at USA Taekwondo and USA Swimming. Unfortunately, other similar misconduct preceded these more recently disclosed scandals.
The new Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Holly Shick, will launch the USOPC’s new NGB certification program and will focus on supporting NGBs in their successful interpretation and adoption of the new requirements. Additionally, she will be responsible for the design and implementation of the USOPC Ethics and Compliance Program. Shick will report to the CEO of the USOPC, Sarah Hirshland.
The new set of 58 audit standards focus on five key areas:
CEO Hirshland describes the development of the new standards as “requirements are the result of a thorough collaboration by our community leaders to ensure a comprehensive set of standards and tools are in place for all who serve Team USA athletes.”
In Shick’s new compliance role, she will be responsible for ensuring that USOPC compliance programs, policies and procedures are effective and efficient in identifying and preventing deficiencies. She is also charged with upholding the organization’s commitment to respond more quickly when breaches of the standards occur.
Shick comes to the USOPC with 14 years of valuable experience – including work as a federal prosecutor and a senior compliance officer. “I am excited and humbled to join the USOPC,” said Shick. “I have followed Team USA for as long as I can remember, so to have the opportunity to contribute to American athletes and the Olympic and Paralympic movements is truly an honor. I look forward to building on the great work that has been done and building a compliance model that provides transparency and support to the USOPC’s stakeholders and to Team USA.”
Shick’s new job is both critical and enormous. Each of the 46 NGBs has a separate and distinct culture, some with large staffs and vast resources while others are much smaller with limited resources. Shick is responsible for bringing them together under one ethics and compliance umbrella and building a new and unified culture of serious and diligent focus on ethics and compliance. With Hirshland’s backing and the support of the USOPC governing board, Shick has a unique opportunity to lead in the development of a safe and supportive environment for all Team USA athletes. Implementing effective protective measures for athletes representing the United States of America is essential now.