Governing bodies reach settlement with athletes abused by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar
The $380 million (£287 million) settlement will cover claims brought by hundreds of women against disgraced former doctor Larry Nassar, including Olympic gold medallists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney. It has been reached with USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee and their insurers, and comes after a five-year legal battle.
A general view during the national anthem prior to day three of the U.S. Gymnastics Championships 2018 at TD Garden on August 18, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.
The settlement will cover claims brought by hundreds of women, including Olympic gold medallists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney.
All three women gave testimony about the abuse they suffered at the hands of Nassar at a hearing at the US Senate earlier this year, attacking USA Gymnastics and Olympic officials for failing to stop it.
Biles: I gave an outlet for athletes to talk about mental health
The trio also criticised the FBI for their investigation into Nassar's actions.
The settlement has been reached with both USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, as well as their insurers.
It follows a similar settlement from Michigan State University, who employed Nassar as an assistant professor between 1997 and 2016 and where much of the abuse took place.
The university settled for $500 million in 2018.
“This settlement is the result of the bravery of hundreds of survivors who, despite legal obstacles, long odds and the best corporate legal talent money can buy, refused to be silent. The power of their story eventually won the day,” John Manly, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said on Monday.
USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy in 2018, after Olympic bronze medalist Jamie Dantzscher had sued the organisation and additional claims were filed on behalf of a growing number of survivors of Nassar’s abuse.
Rachel Denhollander was the first woman to publicly accuse the former doctor of abuse, and while she was relieved to "finally" reach a settlement, more must be done to make change.
"This chapter is finally closed. Now the hard work of reform and rebuilding can begin. Whether or not justice comes, and change is made, depends on what happens next,” Denhollander tweeted on Monday.
"MSU has consistently still refused to work with survivors. My hope is that the story will be different for USAG and USOPC. Now is the chance to set a model for true restorative justice and reform.
"This chapter has closed, but the real work of restoration is just beginning."
Biles, who took time out from her Tokyo 2020 campaign to focus on her mental health, revealed after the Olympics that the "scars of horrific abuse" had affected her at the Games.