Report: New lawsuit claims USA Gymnastics officials ignored abuse
A new lawsuit claims USA Gymnastics officials, including former national team coordinators Bela and Martha Karolyi, ignored abuse and covered up incidents at their elite training facility in Texas to protect their reputations and businesses, according to the Indianapolis Star.
More than 30 people, including one elite gymnast, have come forward to accuse former USA Gymnastics physician Dr. Larry Nassar of abuse after a September investigation by the Indianapolis Star revealed allegations against him.
At the Karolyis Texas ranch, according to the lawsuit, children were allegedly berated with obscenities and scratched until they bled. They were also allegedly denied food and water.
The lawsuit was filed by a gymnast that was a member of the U.S. Women's National Team from 2006 to 2011 and was on the world championship squad in 2010.
USA Gymnastics denied the allegations, saying it took action when it learned of the abuse.
"As we have made clear, when USA Gymnastics first learned of athlete concerns regarding Dr. Nassar, we dismissed him from further involvement and reported those concerns to the FBI," USA Gymnastics said, according to IndyStar. "Still, the allegations that have been made are troubling. USA Gymnastics is committed to promoting a safe environment for our athletes. Due to the pending litigation and ongoing investigation, however, we are unable to comment further.”
Nassar worked with USA Gymnastics for two decades before he was let go last year. He was also working at Michigan State practicing sports-medicine before being fired on Sept. 20. Police are investigating more than two dozen sexual abuse claims by former patients, with some dating back to the late 1990s.
The FBI, Michigan State University police and Michigan attorney general's office are also investigating Nassar.