Independent Investigators Will Scrutinize U.S. Olympic Committee And USA Gymnastics' Role In Larry Nassar Sexual Abuse

An independent investigation will look into former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar’s serial sexual abuse, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced on Friday, after widespread calls from athletes and public officials for greater scrutiny of the institutions that many say enabled his years of assaulting young women.

An outside law firm, Ropes and Gray, will lead the probe, the USOC said in a statement, aiming “to determine when individuals affiliated with USA Gymnastics or the USOC first became aware of any evidence of Nassar’s abuse of athletes, what that evidence was and what they did with it.”

Last week, a Michigan judge sentenced Nassar to up to 175 years in prison after he sexually assaulted more than 140 young women, including many Olympic gymnasts.

Many survivors and their families, as well as lawmakers and other public officials, have called for investigations into the institutions where Nassar worked, questioning the extent to which members knew about his abuse and whether they tried to cover it up.

Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles said earlier this week that she was surprised that the USOC had not contacted her to discuss Nassar’s abuse.

“I was one of their top athletes advocating for not only gymnastics but for the Olympics and all of that,” Biles said. “I think it’s kind of crazy, but hopefully they’ll reach out.”

Shortly following his sentencing last week, the USOC issued an open apology to Nassar’s victims and announced that it would allocate funding to testing, treatment and counseling for Nassar’s victims. It added it would institute systemic changes.

“We are sorry for the pain caused by this terrible man, and sorry that you weren’t afforded a safe opportunity to pursue your sports dreams,” the letter read.

It also issued an ultimatum to USA Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body, calling on its entire board to resign, or it would strip the organization’s certification.

According to the USOC, Ropes and Gray will have wide latitude in their investigation, which will “take as long as necessary to get to the truth.” Both the USOC and USA Gymnastics have agreed to turn over documents and provide interviews, and the firm will release a public report with its findings.

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Mattie Larson

"You took complete advantage of my innocence. Your kindness was simply a ploy to molest me every chance you got. I can’t even put into words how much I fucking hate you.”
"You took complete advantage of my innocence. Your kindness was simply a ploy to molest me every chance you got. I can’t even put into words how much I fucking hate you.”

Olivia Cowan

"MSU knew what was being done to these athletes and decided to turn a blind eye to keep their reputation strong and their pockets full."
"MSU knew what was being done to these athletes and decided to turn a blind eye to keep their reputation strong and their pockets full."

Hannah Morrow

“Life handed me lemons, and you best believe, I am well prepared to make some lemonade. You cannot break me.”
“Life handed me lemons, and you best believe, I am well prepared to make some lemonade. You cannot break me.”

Kyle Stephens

“Little girls don’t stay little forever. They turn into strong women that return to destroy your world." 
“Little girls don’t stay little forever. They turn into strong women that return to destroy your world." 

Helena Weick

"What kind of person has the audacity to sexually assault a child in front of their mother? The kind of person who should spend the rest of his life in prison." 
"What kind of person has the audacity to sexually assault a child in front of their mother? The kind of person who should spend the rest of his life in prison." 

Maddie and Kara Johnson

“I felt so lucky that I got to see the same doctor as all of my idols in the gymnastics world." -- Maddie Johnson 
“I felt so lucky that I got to see the same doctor as all of my idols in the gymnastics world." -- Maddie Johnson 

Emily Morales

"Although you have hurt me, I want to forgive you and feel closure and move on to healing in my life." 
"Although you have hurt me, I want to forgive you and feel closure and move on to healing in my life." 

Megan Ginter

“I am done being ashamed of something that was out of my control.”
“I am done being ashamed of something that was out of my control.”

Donna Markham for Chelsea Markham

"In 2009 she took her own life because she couldn’t deal with the pain anymore. It will be 10 years in March that I lost my baby. She was 23 years old… Every day I miss her. Every day. And it all started with him."
"In 2009 she took her own life because she couldn’t deal with the pain anymore. It will be 10 years in March that I lost my baby. She was 23 years old… Every day I miss her. Every day. And it all started with him."

Annette Hill

"Larry, you are a menace to society."
"Larry, you are a menace to society."

Aly Raisman

“Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force, and you are nothing. The tables have turned, Larry. We are here and we are not going anywhere.”
“Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force, and you are nothing. The tables have turned, Larry. We are here and we are not going anywhere.”

Chelsea Zerfas

"It hurt me most when I found out you hurt my teammates. I considered them my family."
"It hurt me most when I found out you hurt my teammates. I considered them my family."

Katie Rasmussen

"They didn't understand how such a respectable doctor could do something like that. I don't understand how a 14-year-old could make that up."
"They didn't understand how such a respectable doctor could do something like that. I don't understand how a 14-year-old could make that up."

Amanda Cormier

"This is between you and God." 
"This is between you and God." 

Amanda Thomashow

"I knew that he abused me. I reported it. Michigan State University had the audacity to tell me I did not understand the difference between sexual assault and a medical procedure.”
"I knew that he abused me. I reported it. Michigan State University had the audacity to tell me I did not understand the difference between sexual assault and a medical procedure.”

Jordyn Wieber

"I thought that training for the Olympics would be hardest thing I would ever have to do. But the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do is process that I am a victim of Larry Nassar." 
"I thought that training for the Olympics would be hardest thing I would ever have to do. But the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do is process that I am a victim of Larry Nassar." 

Jennifer Rood-Bedford

"I want to stand with all the women who came before me and all the women who came after me. If only to say: You’re not alone."
"I want to stand with all the women who came before me and all the women who came after me. If only to say: You’re not alone."

Gwen Anderson

"I’ve come to realize this moment is not my weakest moment. This is my moment of strength. This is my time to close the chapter of being a victim and open the chapter of being a survivor.”
"I’ve come to realize this moment is not my weakest moment. This is my moment of strength. This is my time to close the chapter of being a victim and open the chapter of being a survivor.”

Kayla Spycher

"You took away my worth, my privacy, my innocence ... and my own voice, until today."
"You took away my worth, my privacy, my innocence ... and my own voice, until today."

Chelsea Williams

"Problematic cultural aspects of elite gymnastics -- obedience, unimaginable pain and silent suffering -- were expertly manipulated by Larry Nassar to identify, abuse and control his victims; not once, but systematically over their lifetimes in the sport."
"Problematic cultural aspects of elite gymnastics -- obedience, unimaginable pain and silent suffering -- were expertly manipulated by Larry Nassar to identify, abuse and control his victims; not once, but systematically over their lifetimes in the sport."

Jennifer Hayes

"I have invisible wounds that have forever changed my life. I am changing that today. You stole my confidence and self-worth, but I am regaining it. You will not break my core and you no longer have power over me"
"I have invisible wounds that have forever changed my life. I am changing that today. You stole my confidence and self-worth, but I am regaining it. You will not break my core and you no longer have power over me"

Carrie Hogan

"I am broken. I am tired. I feel like the life has literally been sucked out of me. I am in desperate need of healing."
"I am broken. I am tired. I feel like the life has literally been sucked out of me. I am in desperate need of healing."

Jessica Smith

"The trauma that the abuse has caused me, my family, and my community can<br />never be undone. Yet what allows me to get out of bed each day is the hope of<br />creating a better and safer environment around me." 
"The trauma that the abuse has caused me, my family, and my community can
never be undone. Yet what allows me to get out of bed each day is the hope of
creating a better and safer environment around me." 

Lindsey Lemke

"You abused us and you don’t even remember. That’s sickening.”
"You abused us and you don’t even remember. That’s sickening.”

Jeanette Antolin

"Those little girls that you took advantage of so easily have now come back to haunt you, all the days of your life."
"Those little girls that you took advantage of so easily have now come back to haunt you, all the days of your life."

Lyndsy Carr

“I was a carefree, silly little girl until this happened, and afterwards there was a cloud, and the cloud has followed me into every relationship in my life, especially the most important ones.”
“I was a carefree, silly little girl until this happened, and afterwards there was a cloud, and the cloud has followed me into every relationship in my life, especially the most important ones.”

Clasina Syrovy

"When girls came forward and told an adult, the adults didn't listen. Why didn't they listen? What good is it to teach children to tell an adult if the grown-up doesn't listen, doesn't take action?"
"When girls came forward and told an adult, the adults didn't listen. Why didn't they listen? What good is it to teach children to tell an adult if the grown-up doesn't listen, doesn't take action?"

Krista Wakeman

"I feel my own sense of guilt because I was 16 years old, and I should have stopped this monster from hurting other girls, because I knew that what he did to me was wrong."
"I feel my own sense of guilt because I was 16 years old, and I should have stopped this monster from hurting other girls, because I knew that what he did to me was wrong."

Melody Posthuma

"I really believe there are thousands who were affected and will continue to be affected by this."
"I really believe there are thousands who were affected and will continue to be affected by this."

Rachael Denhollander

"When I came out, my sexual assault was wielded as a weapon against me."
"When I came out, my sexual assault was wielded as a weapon against me."

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