Prof. Dionne L. Koller, associate dean at the University of Baltimore School of Law and director of its Center for Sport and the Law, has been named co-chair of the Commission on the State of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (also known as the USOPC Commission).
The USOPC Commission is a product of the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act that passed on Nov, 2, 2020. It directs the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate Commerce Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee to each appoint four members to the USOPC Commission. The USOPC Commission must conduct a study reviewing recent USOPC reforms and must submit its findings and recommendations to Congress.
“The USOPC exists to protect athletes and uphold the integrity of sport,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-WA, commission chair, said in announcing the commission on April 2. “There are many issues that plague sports, from unequal pay and treatment to sexual abuse. Having the right members on this Commission ensures that these issues can be properly addressed and remedied, so that Olympic and Paralympic athletes can feel safe in their sports environment.”
Koller’s scholarly focus is on Olympic and amateur sports law. She is a former chair and current member of the Executive Board of the Association of American Law School’s section on Sports and the Law. Koller also serves as a member of the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s Anti-Doping Review Board and provides pro bono support for Olympic Movement athletes.
Others named to the commission are: Jordyn Wieber, an American Olympic gold medalist gymnast and currently the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks gymnastics team—the youngest individual to currently hold that position; Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, a track and field Olympic gold medalist who currently serves on the International Olympic Committee’s Active Society Commission, is Head of Community and Impact for sports technology company LeagueApps and a member of the board of directors for Athletes for Hope; and Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a two-time Olympic swimmer and three-time gold medalist who is a civil rights lawyer and professor of sports law known for her advocacy for athletes’ rights.