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Olympic track athletes allege sex abuse with their coach

Erin Aldrich, a former Olympic high jumper, claims that her coach, John Rembao started the grooming process (luring her into a sexual relationship)   when she was just 16. She claims that Rembao physically took advantage of her two years later. She told the Associate Press that he was a predator and “What we had between us, was not something special,”

Erin was one of three women that alleged Rembao took advantage of them and all three filed a lawsuit in the District Court in San Jose against Rembao, in addition to the NCAA and its board of governors.

The NCAA had previously acknowledged that coaches should never have a sexual relationship with their athletes, and the U.S. Olympic committee established a code of ethics almost 30 years ago, nonetheless, the governing body has not restricted or prohibited its member institutions from having these relationships.

Aldrich said that Rembao took advantage of being her coach at the University of Arizona and the University of Texas from 1996 to 2000 and his key role for USA track and Field played a major part in his influence on her.

“He was a man that was an authority figure and powerful and well known in the world of track field and was showing special interest,” she recalled in a telephone interview. “It’s hard not to fall into that trap.”

In 1992, the United States Olympic Committee said that a romantic or sexual relationship between an athlete and a coach is likely exploitative and should not take place.  But two decades later, the NCAA published a report called “Staying in Bounds: where the governing body acknowledged the difference in power between a student athlete and a coach and that the dynamic would expose them to be exploited .
“The dynamics of the coach-athlete relationship in intercollegiate sport make any sexual contact between a coach and an athlete abusive,” the NCAA wrote.

“For USA Track and Field, he was the most powerful person in the high jump,” Aldrich recalled.

This suit comes at the same timing as further revelations at the University of Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State also have allegations of sexual abuse investigations between patients and sports doctors

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