New US athlete protection group tells AP of reports of abuse

DENVER (AP) The leader of a new organization aimed at providing a safe environment for athletes tells The Associated Press it already is investigating 21 cases involving sexual misconduct or abuse in Olympic sports.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport is 3 weeks old. Its website offers a hotline and an online reporting form for those who have been victims of abuse or know of such cases.

CEO Shellie Pfohl (pronounced fole) tells the AP the early influx of reports may have come because some people were waiting for the center to open.

The organization operates independently from the U.S. Olympic Committee and organizations governing Olympic sports. The USOC and 47 national governing bodies help fund the center - about $13.3 million over five years. But they do not have any say over how it operates.

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Online:

www.safesport.org

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