A group of prominent former Olympians, national team members and USA Water Polo board members have asked the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee to require embattled USA Water Polo CEO Chris Ramsey and board chairman Mike Graff resign, the Southern California News Group has learned.
In a 19-page memorandum to Holly Shick, the USOPC chief ethics and compliance officer, sent Sunday, that group lays out a detailed case “as to why the USOPC should require CEO Chris Ramsey and Board Chair Mike Graff, and indeed the entire USAWP Board, to resign.”
The memorandum follows a Jan. 15 teleconference between the group and Shick and Onye Ikwuakor regarding Ramsey’s handling of sexual abuse cases and his and Graff’s overall management of the Irvine-based national governing body, a tax exempt non-profit.
Ramsey is currently under investigation by the U.S. Center for SafeSport for failing to report allegations of sexual abuse to law enforcement or Child Protective Services, according to two people familiar with the case.
“We do not understand how an individual could be permitted to remain on active duty as the CEO of an NGB while under investigation by SafeSport on account of credible (and now apparently undeniable) violations of SafeSport which could also lead to criminal prosecution,” the group writes in the memorandum to Shick.
The memorandum was signed by Christopher Duplanty, an Olympic silver medalist, former Olympic team captain and coach, and member of the USOPC board of directors, executive board and a USOPC Athletes’ Advisory Council representative, Andrew McDonald, another Olympic medalist, Erika Figge, a U.S. national team member and All-American at USC, Lynn Kachmarik, a Hall of Fame player and coach and former USA Water Polo ethics chief, Liz Grimes, a former national team and USA Water Polo board member, Rachel Scott Ruano, a national team member and Olympic team assistant coach, and Rafael Ruano, a former national youth team coach and a member of USA Water Polo’s Central California zone board of directors.
A petition calling for Ramsey and Graff’s dismissal has been signed by 900 people including a number of former Olympic medalists, Olympic and national team members, Olympic team coaches, and USA Water Polo members.
The push for Ramsey and Graff’s removal comes against the backdrop of a series of investigative reports by the Southern California News Group in which previously undisclosed confidential USA Water Polo documents, court documents, police reports and interviews that raise questions about Ramsey and USA Water Polo’s handling of sexual and physical, emotional and verbal abuse cases.
“The overall reason we ask for this, in short, is because USAWP is not functioning as an NGB as envisioned (indeed, mandated) by the Ted Stevens Sports Act and USOPC Bylaws,” the memorandum said.
— to www.ocregister.com