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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Senator asks federations to take responsibility for abuses

Por DamianToo

Federal senators questioned just recently the sincerity of the reforms of the United States Olympic Committee, the United States Gymnastics Federation and Michigan State´s University after the sexual abuse scandals, using legal documents, emails and conversation counts to portray organisms that still do not fully understand the damage they caused.

During a hearing on Tuesday in Washington, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, for Connecticut, criticized the leaders of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the United States Gymnastics Federation for their motions presented this month before the court that they intend to absolve the federations of legal responsibility in the crimes committed by Larry Nassar.

Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan, for New Hampshire, and other lawmakers railed against interim president of Michigan State University, John Engler, for his insensitive emails and comments during negotiations that resulted in a 500 million dollars settlement with the victims of sexual abuse that attended school. "I think today he has to do some repairs, to put it in some way," Hassan said, prompting applause from the approximately 80 victims who attended the hearing.

Nassar, a sports doctor for several years at Michigan State University who also volunteered as a doctor for the US gymnastics team, is serving a long prison sentence for child pornography and other crimes, after hundreds of women accused him of sexual abuse.

Last Friday, the USOC filed a motion to be dismissed as a defendant in the lawsuits filed by Olympic champions Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber and McKayla Maroney, on the grounds that they were not legally responsible for Nassar's actions.

"There are all kinds of defenses that the parties can present, but there is also a moral responsibility here," Blumenthal said. "If you are serious and sincere, you withdraw the motion. You need to be part of the legal solution and not just come here to apologize. "

USA Gymnastics filed documents in another lawsuit in which they also disregard Nassar's actions, partly because it was not part of the payroll. Blumenthal took advantage of the wording of the motion: "USAG denies that Nassar was an employee or agent of USAG."

When he pressured the agency's director, Kerry Perry, about it, he said he was not aware of the motion, but that in fact, "Larry Nassar was, in every way, an agent of USA Gymnastics."