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Aly Raisman files lawsuit against USOC and USA Gymnastics

2016 Team USA Media Summit - Press Conferences
2016 Team USA Media Summit - Press Conferences
Asher Fair
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 03 Mar 2018
News

Two-time Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman has filed a lawsuit against the United States Olympic committee and USA Gymnastics for their role in covering the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal after finding out about it.

USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun recently resigned in the wake of this scandal, citing health concerns as his reasoning because he was recently diagnosed with cancer. He was the head of the federation for over eight years.

Raisman, 23, was the team captain for the USA Gymnastics team in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. If she ends up attempting to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, she would likely be the odds-on favorite to be the team captain once again.

She publicly accused Nassar of sexual assault this past November after initially revealing these claims in the summer of 2015 to an investigator hired by USA Gymnastics. She states that she was abused by Nassar starting in 2010.

According to ESPN, Raisman claims that both the USOC and USA Gymnastics "knew or should have known" about Nassar's sexual abuse patterns that were enabled by these two organizations in addition to Michigan State University.

Nassar, 54, is the disgraced former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor who has been accused of sexually assaulting over 260 girls and women over the course of at least two decades under the guise of medical treatment. He is named as a co-defendant in Raisman's lawsuit.

This past December, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on three counts of child pornography. In January, he was sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in state prison on seven counts of sexual assault.

During his January sentencing hearing in Ingham County, Michigan, 156 girls and women read victim impact statements in front of Nassar in court over the course of seven days. Among these 156 girls and women was Raisman, who delivered a powerful statement despite the fact that she was not even initially planning to attend the hearing.

In February, Nassar was sentenced to an additional 40 to 125 years in state prison on three more counts of sexual assault. Several other girls and women read victim impact statements in front of him during this sentencing hearing. This hearing also included an attempted attack on Nassar by the father of three of the victims.

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Here is what Raisman said in a statement about her lawsuit, according to ESPN.

"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."

Raisman previously stated that USA Gymnastics threatened her to keep quiet over her sexual assault claims. She said that they claimed to be investigating and encouraged her to not interfere with the process as a result of it, but she later came to find out that nothing was actually being taken care of at that time.

She added the following remarks about USA Gymnastics and the USOC, according to ESPN.

"It has become painfully clear that these organizations have no intention of properly addressing this problem. After all this time, they remain unwilling to conduct a full investigation, and without a solid understanding of how this happened, it is delusional to think sufficient changes can be implemented."

Raisman was recently asked to be a part of the USOC's investigation, but only after continuously calling the committee out for not caring. As a result, she declined and had this to say about it, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“For 31 months, I heard nothing. I find it hard to believe after all this time that the USOC is genuinely concerned about anything other than the scrutiny it’s now facing.”
Published 03 Mar 2018, 03:59 IST
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