Thanks to years of covering Olympic sports, national sports writer Eddie Pells has long been a sounding board to many in the Olympic movement. He knew of issues at the U.S. Center for SafeSport since it opened in 2017 in the aftermath of sex abuse scandals in Olympic sports.
A contact of Pells’, who had been receiving a lot of complaints about the center, put him in touch with an athlete who had been through a long and confusing ordeal with the center and other entities. She also led Pells to another person who had a similarly difficult time, and other examples came out of separate reporting he’d done over his six years covering the center.
Their experiences, the steady stream of complaints that Pells had been hearing for a long time, and high-profile people in the Olympic world who were willing to talk on the record, gave the story credibility.