Athlete Safety Overview
Team USA Athlete Ombuds
We recognize that athlete safety matters can be complex and feel overwhelming at times, and we hope this page helps athletes better understand how to navigate such issues, whether as a victim, accused or other impacted athlete (i.e., witness, reporter).
The information on this website is intended to a be resource to any athlete involved in an athlete safety matter and to help athletes better understand the role of the Athlete Ombuds, along with providing general information about the role and authority of the U.S Center for SafeSport (the Center), the NGBs and the USOPC. For specific policy or procedural information, you should reference applicable athlete safety policies, rules, and resources for the most up-to-date, complete, and accurate information.
For Team USA athletes (i.e., those representing the U.S. at Delegation Events and in international competition on the road to a Delegation Event), the Athlete Ombuds is available to you as a resource for independent, confidential** advice. Questions we can help with include:
- How and where to file a report (i.e., with the Center, the USOPC, your NGB, or law enforcement)
- Questions you may have as a victim, accused, or other impacted athlete (i.e., confidentiality, retaliation, procedural, mental health resources, or legal resources)
- Questions related to funding, benefits, and eligibility during or following an athlete safety matter
If you are a Team USA athlete competing in international competitions and you have questions or need assistance with how to report a concern or navigating an athlete safety matter, you may reach out to our office by emailing email@example.com or leaving us a message at 719-866-5000.
**A full description of our confidentiality obligations and exceptions can be found on our homepage.
For all other athletes (i.e., masters, recreational, non-Olympic or Paralympic disciplines, etc.), while the advice and legal aid program of the Athlete Ombuds are specific to Team USA athletes, we hope that the information provided on this site is helpful to you in navigating an athlete safety matter and identifying legal, mental health or other resources available to you.
If you are experiencing an emergency or the matter involves a minor or life-threatening situation, please call 911 immediately. All other reports should be made according to the SafeSport Code, your NGB policies and/or USOPC policies. The staff of the Athlete Ombuds are not authorized to accept notice on behalf of the USOPC, the Center, or any other sport organization, so please see the FAQ below for how to report an issue of concern. Only those with proper authority can accept notice, investigate, or have access to case information.
|US Center for SafeSport FAQs||FAQs covering general information, reporting, investigations, resolution/enforcement, education and training, audit and compliance, tech support, training, and strategic partnerships.|
|The Center's Response & Resolution Process||Step by step breakdown of the process when and after reporting, including an informational video and links to the Code & other Center resources.|
|USOPC Athlete Safety||Overview of the USOPC’s Athlete Safety and Security department, including the USOPC Athlete Safety Policy, Background Check Policy and other informational resources.|
|Athlete Rights & Responsibilities Safe Environment||Overview of rights and protections in place to help create a safe environment, along with additional information related to athlete safety policies, athlete responsibilities and a FAQ.|
For additional information, athletes can reach out to:
- Center’s Resource & Process Advisors - The U.S. Center for SafeSport provides access to Resource and Process Advisors who can answer questions by phone or email from a neutral perspective. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling directly: 720-531-9024.
- The USOPC Security & Athlete Safety Office – They can be reached at email@example.com or by calling directly: 719-866-3869.
- Legal Resources – The Athlete Ombuds maintains a list of attorneys on our website who have asserted that they have experience in sport related matters including athlete safety matters. Anyone who would like to work with an attorney may utilize the list as a resource to help identify an attorney for their situation. There is no obligation to the attorneys on the list and individuals are encouraged to speak with and choose whomever they please. Any engagement and/or fee arrangement would be between you and them. Individuals should always take care to select a lawyer who is competent to handle the issue at hand, as well as communicative, trustworthy, available, and free from conflicts of interest.
This information is not a comprehensive set of rules and is provided as an overview of general information and resources. Nothing on this website is intended to supersede official documents and individuals should reference applicable athlete safety policies for the most up to date and accurate information.
Advice from any member of the Office of the Athlete Ombuds, including but not limited to information provided on this website, does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice, nor does any member provide legal representation of an athlete in any capacity. Athletes should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter. Also, in accordance with the Athlete Ombuds mandate pursuant to the Act to offer independent advice, statements of any member of the office will not be deemed to reflect the views or positions of the USOPC, and the office is not authorized to accept notice on behalf of the USOPC or any other sport organization. All grievances and reports need to be filed directly with the appropriate body (i.e., the U.S. Center for SafeSport, the USOPC, the NGB, USADA, etc.).