USOC spends $27M on athlete stipends, another $66M in grants

DENVER (AP) — The U.S. Olympic Committee paid out more than $27 million to athletes in cash stipends, health care and tuition payments and medal bonuses in 2017, with another $66 million going to sports organizations that are instructed to use the funds to directly help athletes.

In releasing its tax forms Friday, the USOC says it directed 82 percent of its $214 million in expenses toward programs that directly helped athletes in 2017 — an amount that includes coaches’ salaries, expenses to operate training centers and the direct stipends that go to top athletes in each sport.

It’s a figure that can be interpreted in various ways, all depending on a person’s definition of “athlete support.”

The federation says 11 percent of its expenses went toward raising money through marketing and fundraising, while 7 percent covered administrative costs.

The federation paid out more than $53 million in compensation and benefits, about $18 million of which fell under “management and general expenses.” Most of the rest was in a column labeled “program service expenses.” Another $2 million was listed in the management column for travel.

In all, the USOC brought in $183 million in 2017 — a 9 percent increase over revenue in 2013, the similar year in the previous Olympic cycle.

USA Gymnastics received $2.3 million from the USOC in grants that are earmarked for athletes and athlete support.

That amount represents between 5 and 10 percent of USA Gymnastics’ budget on an annual basis, and helped serve as leverage when the USOC demanded USAG overhaul its leadership in the wake of the Larry Nassar sex-abuse scandal. The grant was about $350,000 more than the USOC gave in 2015, the previous non-Olympic year.