“When we hired Mike in 2016, we were aware of the incidents from more than 25 years ago, which had been addressed in 1991-92 by ESPN, his employer at the time, and for which he has apologized,” an NBC Sports rep told The Hollywood Reporter.
Two books detailed allegations of Tirico’s behavior, ESPN: The Uncensored History in 2000 Those Guys Have All the Fun in 2011. The 50-year-old was hired by NBC Sports in 2016 and was announced as the new primetime TV host for the Olympics this year, replacing Bob Costas.
"These charges were aggressively addressed 25 years ago with a lengthy suspension," said ESPN spokesperson Josh Krulewitz.
The 2018 Winter Olympics begin on Feb. 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Tirico’s past raised concerns since after NBC fired Today anchor Matt Lauer after a female staffer had come forward claiming that the 59-year-old had sexually assaulted her at the 2014 Winter Olympics. In the days that followed, more women came forward and more details emerged, including the disturbing detail that Lauer had a hidden button on his desk that locked his door.
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” Lauer said in a statement. “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.”