USA Gymnastics played a role in covering for former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar who has been sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting hundreds of athletes.
A slew of emails reveal obtained by the Indy Star reveal that USA Gymnastics covered for the former doctor for months and did not reveal to any athletes or their parents that Nassar faced investigation. The coverup continued after the FBI began its scrutiny of Nassar in June 2015 following allegations of sexual abuse. Despite the investigation, USA Gymnastics did not add Nassar to its list of people banned from the sport.
When Nassar was not allowed to attend two major 2015 competitions, he asked USA Gymnastics attorney Scott D. Himsel if he could make an excuse, and the attorney acquiesced. “Can we just say that I am sick?” Nassar asked Himsel, the Indy Star reported. Himsel agreed to his request. USA Gymnastics explained Nassar’s second absence from competition by telling the parents and gymnasts that he was taking time to focus on his private practice.
“These facts are stunning,” said CHILD USA CEO Marci Hamilton. “Any organization that serves youth and has notice that there is an abusive adult dealing with the organization’s youth has a duty to protect those children.” CHILD USA “conducts evidence-based legal, medical, and social science research to identify laws and policies affecting child protection. With these facts, CHILD USA shines a light on the better pathways to truly protect all children from abuse and neglect,” according to its website.
“USAG’s failure to notify the athletes when they knew he was suspended and under investigation is reckless,” Hamilton added.
Nassar announced his retirement from USA Gymnastics in September 2015. He was arrested by authorities in 2016 and sentenced in January to 40 to 175 years in prison. (RELATED: Dirty Gymnastics Doc Sentenced To 40 To 175 Years In Prison)
More than 330 girls and women have claimed Nassar abused them, and USA Gymnastics now faces lawsuits from dozens of his victims. (RELATED: Larry Nassar Victims Reach $500 Million Settlement With Michigan State University)
Nassar was also sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography in a separate ruling.
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