The Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act >>> of 1978, signed by President Jimmy Carter, establishes a United States Olympic Committee and provides for national governing bodies for each Olympic sport. The Act provides important legal protection for individual athletes.
The Act charters the U.S. Olympic Committee, which in turn can charter a national governing body (NGB) for each sport such as USA Swimming for competitive swimming. Each NGB in turn establishes the rules for selecting the United States Olympic Team and promotes amateur competition in that sport.
The Act requires that active athletes (defined as amateur athletes who have represented the United States in international amateur competition within the last ten years) must hold 20 percent of the voting power of any board or committee in an NGB.
The Act also provides athletes with due process and appeal rights concerning eligibility disputes.