June 24, 2018

House Oversight Committee Launches Probe of Nassar Scandal

11 February 2018, 05:07 | Clyde Nash

Deputies tackle a distraught father who lunged at former MSU doctor Larry Nassar during his sexual assault sentencing

Larry Nassar

The exposure of the extent of sexual abuse by sports doctor Lawrence Nassar, who worked for the U.S.A. Gymnastics team, the United States Olympic Committee, Michigan State University, Karolyi ranch and other sports training centers, has drawn worldwide attention and revulsion.

Mr Geddert has retired since his time coaching the 2012 gymnastics team which included Ms Raisman, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, and Jordyn Wieber - all of whom accused Nassar and/or gave victim impact statements at Nasser's sentencing trials. "I just wanted to share our appreciation especially in the face of so much tragedy", said Tashmica Torok, founder and executive director of the Firecracker Foundation.

"He's not the only person to do this and we as a community need to educate ourselves as best as we can to know what to look for and how to identify (abuse)", she said.

Kristie Phillips, one of America's top female gymnasts in the mid-1980s, was trying to make a comeback to elite competition in 1996 when she met a doctor for the USA Gymnastics program named Larry Nassar. "And John Geddert was in the auto with us and he just didn't say anything", she said of the coach. "After giving people the chance to get a refund, the donations will go to organizations that help the sisterhood of survivors and other victims of abuse". International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach said the organization was "deeply shocked and saddened" by the crimes and that it would defer to an independent investigation determining if Nassar's abuse ever occurred at the Olympics. Authorities have declined to specify the nature of the complaints or how many have been filed, citing an ongoing investigation.

Ms Raisman and others have advocated a full investigation into USA Gymnastics, the governing body for the sport, and the US Olympic Committee. "It means telling coaches that physical and emotional abuse of any gymnast is not O.K".

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"One of the most disturbing aspects of the survivors' accounts is how this reprehensible conduct went undetected or ignored for years".

During Nassar's sentencing hearings, athletes claimed Geddert was physically abusive, was indifferent to injuries and forced them to see Nassar.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent letters to the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University, Twistars USA Gymnastics Club and Karolyi Ranch regarding sexual assault within the U.S. gymnastics system.

Nassar, 54, will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

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