Having reduced disgraced former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar to “nothing” during a scathing victim impact statement this past January, three-time gold medalist Aly Raisman was a leading voice in an effort to refocus the sexual abuse scandal lens on the U.S. Olympic Committee, and she’s now filing a lawsuit against the organization less than a week after the Winter Games.
In a suit filed in California this week, Raisman charged the USOC with complicity and incompetence in failing to prevent Nassar from serially abusing hundreds of gymnasts during his decades-long tenure as a sports medicine doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, per multiple reports.
“After all this time, they remain unwilling to conduct a full investigation,” Raisman said in a statement to NBC News, “and without a solid understanding of how this happened, it is delusional to think sufficient changes can be implemented.
“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.”
The lawsuit comes weeks after Raisman asked a Michigan courtroom, “Why have I and the others here probably not heard anything from the leadership of the USOC? Why has the U.S. Olympic Committee been silent? Why isn’t the USOC here right now?” And it came the same day the USOC announced CEO Scott Blackmun’s resignation in coordination with “significant changes to further protect athletes.”
Nassar has been imprisoned for the equivalent of several life sentences, and resignations followed at the USOC and USA Gymnastics, but Raisman isn’t satisfied with either organization’s response, naming both in the lawsuit that she hopes will uncover more details along with a congressional investigation.
Among other charges, the lawsuit specifically alleges the USOC and USA Gymnastics created “a culture and atmosphere that conceals known and suspected sexual abusers” by failing to properly report a warning from U.S. national team gymnast Maggie Nichols in 2015 to authorities, athletes, their families and Michigan State, where Nassar continue abusing athletes for a year after he was fired by Team USA.
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