Gymnasts Say Former Team USA Doc Abused Them

One accuser is a medal-winning Olympian
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2016 7:23 AM CDT
Gymnasts Accuse Former Team USA Doc of Abuse
In this Aug. 23, 2016, photo, Rachael Denhollander poses for a portrait at her home in Louisville, Ky.   (Robert Scheer/The Indianapolis Star via AP)

There was an ugly secret at the heart of Team USA Gymnastics for many years, according to two women who accuse a longtime team doctor of abusing them as teens. In separate legal complaints, the women say Larry Nassar groped and fondled them during multiple treatments in the 1990s and early 2000s. One woman, a medal-winning Olympian, identified only as "Jane Doe," has filed a lawsuit in California accusing Nassar of molesting her between the ages of 12 and 18, reports the Indianapolis Star. She accuses USA Gymnastics of ignoring suspicions about Nassar and says it took her years to realize that the man she trusted had been abusing her. "USA Gymnastics failed this woman," her attorney says.

The other woman, Rachael Denhollander, tells the Star that she was a club-level gymnast in 2000 when Nassar abused her at Michigan State, where he's a faculty member. The university suspended the 53-year-old from clinical and patient duties after Denhollander filed a police complaint last month. Nassar—whose lawyers say he denies any wrongdoing—was also suspended after a complaint of misconduct in 2014 that didn't result in charges, the AP reports. Nassar was on USA Gymnastics' medical staff for 29 years, the Guardian reports. In a statement released Monday, USA Gymnastics says it cut its ties with him and notified law enforcement after "learning of athlete concerns" last summer. (US gymnast Simone Biles was among Olympians whose medical records were released by Russian hackers.)

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