U.S. gymnast sued U.S. Olympic Committee over Larry Nassar sexual abuse

FILE PHOTO - Victim and Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman appears before speaking at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Vastavam web: U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman has sued the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics over decades of sexual abuse by former national team doctor Larry Nassar, saying they put“money and medals” before the safety of athletes.“I refuse to wait any longer for these organizations to do the right thing. It is my hope that the legal process will hold them accountable and enable the change that is so desperately needed,” she said in a statement on Friday.

According to her lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, Raisman still suffers from“depression, anxiety and fear” stemming from the abuse. It was filed on Wednesday in California state court in Santa Clara County.The 23-year-old athlete was among nearly 200 gymnasts, including several Olympic medallists, who spoke out during Nassar’s televised sentencing hearings about decades of abuse.

The lawsuit contends that the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Gymnastics and former executives of the sport’s governing body had the authority and mandate to discipline Nassar but never intervened.The lawsuit said the defendants, including two former USA Gymnastics officials, could have prevented the molestation if they had been serious about their duty to protect young athletes but instead they“put their quest for money and medals above the safety” of the plaintiff and other athletes.

USA Gymnastics declined to comment on the lawsuit, but reiterated that it first learned in June 2015 that an athlete had“expressed concern about a procedure by Larry Nassar” and that it reported it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.The Nassar scandal prompted the entire board of directors at USA Gymnastics to resign, along with the president and athletic director at Michigan State University, where Nassar also worked. It spawned several lawsuits and criminal and civil investigations.

Manly also filed a lawsuit against the USOC and other defendants in December on behalf of McKayla Maroney, a 2012 Olympic gymnastics gold and silver medallist.Attorney David Mittleman represents 90 of the 256 plaintiffs already suing USA Gymnastics in federal court in Michigan. On Friday he said the plaintiffs had yet to decide whether to broaden the lawsuit to include the USOC.The USOC, which has faced months of criticism over the scandal, said on Wednesday that its chief executive officer, Scott Blackmun, was resigning for health reasons. It did not say if the scandal had played a role in Blackmun’s departure.