Athlete Safety & Well-Being
We recognize that athlete safety matters can be complex and feel overwhelming at times, and we hope this page helps athletes better understand how to navigate such issues, whether as a victim, accused or other impacted athlete (i.e., witness, reporter).
The information on this website is intended to a be resource to any athlete involved in an athlete safety matter and to help athletes better understand the role of the Athlete Ombuds, along with providing general information about the role and authority of the U.S Center for SafeSport (the Center), the NGBs and the USOPC. For specific policy or procedural information, you should reference applicable athlete safety policies, rules, and resources for the most up-to-date, complete, and accurate information.
For Team USA athletes (i.e., those representing the U.S. at Delegation Events and in international competition on the road to a Delegation Event), the Athlete Ombuds is available to you as a resource for independent, confidential* advice. Questions we can help with include:
- How and where to file a report (i.e., with the Center, the USOPC, your NGB, or law enforcement)
- Questions you may have as a victim, accused, or other impacted athlete (i.e., confidentiality, retaliation, procedural, mental health resources, or legal resources)
- Questions related to funding, benefits, and eligibility during or following an athlete safety matter
If you are a Team USA athlete competing in international competitions and you have questions or need assistance with how to report a concern or navigating an athlete safety matter, you may reach out to our office by emailing email@example.com or leaving us a message at 719-866-5000.
*A full description of our confidentiality obligations and exceptions can be found on our homepage.
For all other athletes (i.e., masters, recreational, non-Olympic or Paralympic disciplines, etc.), while the advice and legal aid program of the Athlete Ombuds are specific to Team USA athletes, we hope that the information provided on this site is helpful to you in navigating an athlete safety matter and identifying legal, mental health or other resources available to you.
If you are experiencing an emergency or the matter involves a minor or life-threatening situation, please call 911 immediately. All other reports should be made according to the SafeSport Code, your NGB policies and/or USOPC policies. The staff of the Athlete Ombuds are not authorized to accept notice on behalf of the USOPC, the Center, or any other sport organization, so please see the FAQ below for how to report an issue of concern. Only those with proper authority can accept notice, investigate, or have access to case information.
What information can I find on this webpage?
You can find the following types of information:
- Key informational resources (e.g., the Center's FAQ, the USOPC athlete safety webpage, the Center’s response & resolution information)
- General contact information (e.g., the Center’s resource & process advisor, USOPC Athlete Safety)
- Mental health and legal resources (e.g., national mental health resources, USOPC mental health registry)
How and where can I report a concern?
To learn more about the various reporting options visit the Team USA Reporting Webpage and/or your NGB’s athletes safety webpage.
All cases of suspected emotional, physical, or sexual abuse of a minor must be reported to law enforcement immediately. If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 immediately. To learn more about reporting requirements, visit the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s website.
Where can I learn about reporting to law enforcement?
- The Child Welfare Information Gateway is an available resource to learn more about how to report abuse and neglect to law enforcement, including state specific numbers and resources, and FAQs about who must report and when & where to report.
- The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline provides crisis intervention, information, and referrals to emergency, social service, and support resources and can be reached by calling or texting 1-800-4-A-CHILD [1-800-422-4453].
I am a Team USA athlete, what resources are available to me?
Team USA athletes (i.e., competing in protected competition and representing the United States) may have access to additional mental health and support resources. Please note that eligibility criteria and program guidelines for each resource may vary.
Team USA Mental Health Resources
- Team USA Mental Health Webpage – Resources from the USOPC Mental Health Services Team related to finding mental health providers, tips for navigating difficult situations, stories from athletes and other valuable mental health related information. Visit Teamusa.org/mentalhealth to learn more.
- Team USA Support Line - Call + 1-719-866-CALL or 2255 to be connected immediately to a licensed mental health provider. This support line is available worldwide for Team USA athletes and staff.
- Team USA Mental Health Assistance Fund - The Mental Health Assistance Fund is available for Team USA athletes to help cover out-of-pocket costs for mental health treatment, deductibles and copayments for services, prescription medication costs, and more. To learn more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Team USA Legal Resources
- Team USA Legal Aid Program – The Athlete Ombuds has a legal aid fund available to Team USA Athletes without sufficient financial means to seek aid for fees and costs associated with legal representation or the proceeding itself with respect to a sport-related tribunal within the Olympic and Paralympic Movement, such as one before the U.S. Center for SafeSport. Visit our legal aid webpage to find the eligibility criteria, program guidelines and application.
I am not a Team USA athlete, what resources are available to me?
Where can I learn about legal resources or find attorneys with experience in athlete safety matters?
Where can I learn more about the Center’s process and the resources available through the Center?
- U.S. Center for SafeSport FAQs – FAQs covering general information, reporting, investigations, resolution/enforcement, education and training, audit and compliance, tech support, training, and strategic partnerships.
- The Center's Response & Resolution Process – Step by step breakdown of the process when and after reporting, including an informational video and links to the Code & other Center resources.
- The Center’s Resource & Process Advisors - The U.S. Center for SafeSport provides access to Resource and Process Advisors who can answer questions by phone or email from a neutral perspective. They can be reached at email@example.com or by calling directly: 720-531-9024.
What mental health and support resources are available through the Center?
- SafeSport Helpline – The SafeSport Helpline is a resource designed for athletes, staff, and other SafeSport participants who have been affected by sexual violence. You can reach the helpline via online chat, mobile app, or by calling the helpline directly for confidential, one-on-one support.
- Additional Resources & Support – On the Center’s resource and process advisor’s webpage, you can find a section called ‘Resources for Support’, which offers links and information related to hotline and crisis intervention, sexual abuse resources, parent resources and other miscellaneous resources.
What other national mental health resources may be available for me to access?
- 9-8-8 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline – Call or text 988 to reach 24/7 support with trained crisis counselors
- Crisis Text Line - Text HOME to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor for free, 24/7 support
- Disaster Distress Helpline
- NAMI Crisis Helpline
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- National Sexual Assault Hotline
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- The Trevor Project for LGBTQ+ Youth
- USOPC Mental Health Registry
- Veterans Crisis Line
Key Topic and Informational Resources
U.S. Center for SafeSport FAQs
FAQs covering general information, reporting, investigations, resolution/enforcement, education and training, audit and compliance, tech support, training, and strategic partnerships.Go Here
The Center's Response & Resolution Process
Step by step breakdown of the process when and after reporting, including an informational video and links to the Code & other Center resources.Go Here
USOPC Athlete Safety
Overview of the USOPC’s Athlete Safety and Security department, including the USOPC Athlete Safety Policy, Background Check Policy and other informational resources.Go Here
Points of Contact
For additional information, athletes can reach out to:
- Center’s Resource & Process Advisors - The U.S. Center for SafeSport provides access to Resource and Process Advisors who can answer questions by phone or email from a neutral perspective. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling directly: 720-531-9024.
- The USOPC Security & Athlete Safety Office – They can be reached at email@example.com or by calling directly: 719-866-3869.
- Legal Resources – The Athlete Ombuds maintains a list of attorneys on our website who have asserted that they have experience in sport related matters including athlete safety matters. Anyone who would like to work with an attorney may utilize the list as a resource to help identify an attorney for their situation. There is no obligation to the attorneys on the list and individuals are encouraged to speak with and choose whomever they please. Any engagement and/or fee arrangement would be between you and them. Individuals should always take care to select a lawyer who is competent to handle the issue at hand, as well as communicative, trustworthy, available, and free from conflicts of interest.
Advice from any member of the Office of the Athlete Ombuds, including but not limited to information provided on this website, does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Athletes should seek legal counsel if they want specific legal advice or individual representation.