Bill Moreau, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s former vice president of sports medicine, has filed a lawsuit against the organization, alleging he was fired for questioning how they handle reports of sexual abuse.
Moreau claims that the USOPC’s upper level management was alerted on April 26, 2018 that a 15-year-old Paralympic track athlete had been sexually assaulted by a 20-year-old athlete while they were at the Drake relays. A track coach told Moreau that the 15-year-old was having suicidal thoughts.
Instead of reporting the incident to the police, Moreau alleges that Rick Adams, the USOPC’s chief of sports performance, started conducting an internal investigation.
The USOPC filed a complaint with the U.S. Center for SafeSport on April 30, but didn’t classify what had happened as a reportable offense. Moreau said he told Adams and two other officials that a 15-year-old can’t legally give consent to sexual activity with a person who is four or more years older than they are.
On May 1, the USOPC reported the assault to police in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Moreau also alleges in his lawsuit that USOPC officials didn’t treat mental health issues the same way it treated other medical issues. He said he warned USOPC officials that urgent action was needed after Olympic silver medal cyclist Kelly Caitlin committed suicide in February 2019.
“Moreau explained to USOC Chief of High Performance Rick Adams that … the USOC concept of managing a mental health medical emergency ‘by committee’ was woefully deficient and in fact a dangerous pathway to follow,” according to the lawsuit.
Moreau was terminated in March 2019 and was told it was due to him not having a Doctor of Medicine degree. Moreau has a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, but his replacement was another chiropractor.
“Frankly, what I’m really worried about is, what if another kid gets raped and I didn’t say something? What if another athlete kills himself and I didn’t say something? Somebody has got to get the USOPC’s attention to start listening and not breaking the law,” Moreau said.
“He wanted to fix that,” Darold Killmer, Moreau’s attorney, said. “They punished him for it by terminating him.”