LOS ANGELES, December 23, 2017: Former Team USA Gymnast and gold-medalist McKayla Maroney has filed suit against USA Gymnastics.
McKayla Maroney’s allegations against team physician
The gymnast, McKayla Maroney, alleges the organization sought to buy her silence in regards to her abuse by former team physician Larry Nassar.
The suit also names Michigan State and the U.S. Olympic Committee as defendants, alleging they failed to respond to warning signs and allowed Nassar to abuse McKayla Maroney and others. USA Gymnastics released a statement saying they first learned about the suit from media reports.
“Although USA Gymnastics is disappointed by today’s filing, we applaud McKayla and others who speak up against abusive behavior — including the despicable acts of Larry Nassar. We want to work together with McKayla and others to help encourage and empower athletes to speak up against abuse.”
McKayla Maroney’s Lawsuit
According to the lawsuit, in December 2016, McKayla Maroney was forced to enter into a confidential agreement with the gymnastics organization, after suffering from years of psychological trauma stemming from sexual abuse.
Maroney went public in October with allegations that Nassar repeatedly molested her, starting when she was 13 years old.
On her verified Twitter account, Maroney made the accusation under the “#MeToo” hashtag, saying that Nassar abused her under the guise of providing “medically necessary treatment.” That “treatment” began when she was 13, continued during her stellar performance at the 2012 London Olympics and only ended when she left the sport in 2016, McKayla Maroney says.
“It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated.’ It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver,” she wrote.
Nassar sentencing this month was to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges. He also pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and admitted to using his power to sexually abuse underage girls. McKayla Maroney’s lawsuit, coupled with a similar, previously undisclosed lawsuit filed by her parents in June, renews the question of whether national sports officials systematically covered up Nassar’s years of misconduct.
USOC spokesman Mark Jones tells reporters that the committee was “first made aware of the possibility” of Nassar’s sexually abuse of Olympic athletes in 2015. Furthermore that USA Gymnastics were already in the process of contacting law enforcement.
The defendants in the suit have all remained silent when it comes to allegations of a cover-up.