Aly Raisman is suing the US Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics alleging negligence for not stopping former US Olympics gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar from sexually abusing young athletes.
Raisman, who is Jewish and the winner of numerous Olympic medals, including several golds, filed her lawsuit in California, saying they “knew or should have known” about abusive patterns Nassar, who is now in prison, The Associated Press reported.
She said in a statement: “My highest priority has been to push for change, so future generations of athletes will be safer. It has become painfully clear that these organisations 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.
“Meanwhile, thousands of young athletes continue to train and compete every day in this same broken system. I refuse to wait any longer for these organisations 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 is the latest development in Raisman’s campaign for raising awareness of sexual abuse in sports, which coincides with several other campaigns against sexual misconduct against women.
Raisman was among dozens of young female gymnasts Nassar has pleaded guilty to molesting.
The filing alleges negligence by the USOC and USA Gymnastics for failing to make sure appropriate protocols were followed in regard to monitoring Nassar, who is named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit. I January, a Michigan judge sentenced Nassar to a total of at least 140 years in prison.
Nassar spent nearly three decades at USA Gymnastics before being fired in 2015 following complaints about his behavior. He continued to work at Michigan State University through the fall of 2016 before being hit with federal charges.
Raisman said the USOC and USA Gymnastics allowed Nassar to continue abusing athletes by not telling the university about the conduct that led them to fire him.
The USOC is conducting an independent review of when former CEO Scott Blackmun and others learned the details about abuse cases at USA Gymnastics and whether they responded appropriately. Blackmun stepped down earlier this week to deal with prostate cancer. Raisman, several high-profile gymnasts and two U.S. senators had been calling for his ouster for weeks.
USA Gymnastics and the USOC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from AP.
USA Gymnastics has undergone a massive overhaul in the last year. Former president Steve Penny, named as a co-defendant in Raisman’s lawsuit, resigned last March. Its longtime board chairman Paul Parilla, another co-defendant in the suit, and the rest of the board stepped down in January.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.
We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”