John Ruger

Document Type



The Act that gave the Olympic Committee its authority is the Ted Steven's Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. It was first passed in 1978 under the tutelage of Senator Stevens of Alaska. It was updated in 1998, and in the update there was a passage added regarding the creation of the position of athlete ombudsman. One of the primary authors of that actual language is Mr. Benz, who was, at the time, at the USOC. President Clinton signed the bill into law in October 1998 with a funding bill. I am the only one to have ever held this position, and I started in March 1999. I am not legal counsel for athletes, because if I were I would have to represent the first athlete that comes to me and that is not the way it works. I have an obligation to all athletes, not just the first one that calls. Thus, I am a neutral provider of information to athletes in this process.