Liason to retire as USOC closes office


The U.S. Olympic Committee's chief of international relations will step down later this year, declining to move to federation headquarters in Colorado Springs when the USOC closes its office in Southern California.

Robert Fasulo, a key player in shaping the USOC's international strategy for the last four years, said Monday he would depart Aug. 31. The USOC offered its five employees at the Irvine, Calif., office the option of moving to Colorado Springs or taking a severance package.

Fasulo was one of the USOC's overseas point men, which included a role as a liaison for the bid to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago. That city finished last in the voting that was won by Rio de Janeiro.

He was in the USOC's future plans but decided he didn't want to relocate. He said he was looking forward to playing some future role in the international Olympic movement.

The USOC is opening a new headquarters in Colorado Springs, priced at $53 million, and no longer found it feasible to spend money on the California office, where the lease expires at the end of June. The international relations office will be relocated then, and Fasulo will stay on to help with the transition.

Fasulo was well-liked in the international Olympic movement. His departure comes at an awkward time, with the USOC trying to shore up its reputation in the aftermath of the Chicago bid and other overseas setbacks.

One of the most consistent complaints about the USOC has been its lack of continuity in key positions, something a task force chaired by former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue suggested the federation address in a number of ways, including by lengthening the terms of board members.

Fasulo was on the paid staff, and one of new CEO Scott Blackmun's most important early decisions will be who to hire as his replacement.

The USOC said the closing of the Irvine office will have no impact on its offices in New York or Washington, or its training centers in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Chula Vista, Calif.