Larry Nassar in email to USA Gymnastics lawyer: 'Can we just say that I am sick?'
Officals from USA Gymnastics agreed to provide the attorney for former team doctor Larry Nassar "false excuses" after he skipped major gymnastics events in 2015, rather than tell parents and gymnasts that Nassar was facing a probe for alleged sexual abuse, according to a report from the Indianapolis Star.
The newspaper obtained two emails explaining that Nassar and an attorney for USA Gymnastics came up with cover stories.
The first story claimed that Nassar was ill and other one said he was focused his private practice as reason while he didn't show up to two events, the Secret U.S. Classic and the USA P&G Championships in Indianapolis, leading up to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
According to the email, attorney Scott D. Himsel told Nassar that he was under investigation and that he would tell people that Nassar would not be attending the events because of "personal reasons."
Nassar's reply to the email: "Can we just say that i am sick? That would make more sense to everyone. Would that be ok?"
"I stayed with the story of that I am nauseated, not feeling well and staying home," Nassar added.
Over 300 girls and women accused Nassar of assaulting them, including Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas, who have said that Nassar abused them for years.
Nassar was later sentenced up to 175 years on Michigan state charges of sexual assault, to go along with a sentence of 40 to 125 years in prison on three counts of sexual assault with another 60–year sentence on federal child pornography charges.
USA Gymnastics cleaned house after the Nassar story broke, as the entire board of directors and its president Steve Penny resigned under pressure. Scott Blackmun, the chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee, also stepped down.
The organization is facing dozens of lawsuits, accused of turning a blind eye to Nassar's years of abusing athletes. USA Gymnastics is seeking to have those lawsuits thrown out.