USA Gymnastics is liable

I can’t arrive at any other conclusion.

According to court filings and interviews, it was Nichols and her coach, Sarah Jantzi, who reported Nassar to USA Gymnastics officials on June 17, 2015, after the coach overheard Maggie and another gymnast talking about Nassar’s behavior. …

Jantzi reported her concerns to USA Gymnastics women’s program director Rhonda Faehn and to Maggie’s mother, Gina.

According to the complaint, then–USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny “discouraged [Gina and John Nichols, Maggie’s parents] from reporting Nassar’s conduct to law enforcement and pressured them to keep the matter quiet.” …

Sometime between June 21 and July 2, USA Gymnastics brought on Fran Sepler, an expert on workplace harassment with experience interviewing children in sexual assault cases, to interview Maggie. …

In a statement to SI, Penny’s lawyers said, “The matter was reported to the FBI on Monday, July 27, 2015, and [chairman of USA Gymnastics] Mr. Parilla and Mr. Penny met with the FBI on July 28. …

USA Gymnastics did not contact MSU or the Michigan-based gymnastics club Twistars whose athletes were also treated by Nassar. The national governing body is currently contending in court that it did not have a responsibility to inform either MSU or Twistars of allegations against Nassar.

The Nichols family says it was not contacted by the FBI until July 2016, nearly a year after Maggie had come forward …

At least 19 people whose treatment occurred between the time Maggie spoke to USA Gymnastics and the time she was interviewed by the FBI have filed civil complaints against Nassar. …

Sports Illustrated

If you are one of those 19 people you have to ask why Nassar wasn’t stopped sooner? 😦

Yesterday USAG responded:

Contrary to reported accusations, USA Gymnastics never attempted to hide Nassar’s misconduct. The suggestion by plaintiff’s counsel John Manly, who indicates that he is representing Maggie, that USA Gymnastics tried to silence athletes or keep the investigation secret to avoid headlines before the Rio Olympics and to protect Los Angeles’ Olympic bid is entirely baseless. USA Gymnastics kept the matter confidential because of the FBI’s directive not to interfere with the investigation. …

Has the FBI confirmed? I assume directives like that are put on paper.

Still … USAG paid McKayla Maroney $1.25 million to keep quiet in late 2016. How is that not trying to cover up the crimes of their former team doctor?

In the end, this will be decided in a court of law. Unless USA Gymnastics goes bankrupt first.

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

4 thoughts on “USA Gymnastics is liable”

  1. Rick, your headline is your opinion. This will ultimately be determined in a US court of law.

    That said, I am in 100% agreement with you. Other than the “we support the victims” press releases, each released AFTER each new allegation/accusation, USAG has consistently fought and stonewalled against the slightest accountability.

    “McKayla, here’s a lot of money to keep quiet, even though we’re in violation of California law, but we’re completely innocent of any wrongdoing whatsoever.”


    The sooner the USOC de-certifies USAG and mandates a new NGB the better.


    1. Yep. On the about page of this site it’s clear:

      Remember that this is a blog, opinion, not journalism. We have no fact checkers nor lawyers. If you see a mistake we are happy to fix it. If you have a different opinion on something, we would very much like to post it.


  2. Rick, thanks for posting this. USAG is liable and we don’t need a court of law to determine that. I wouldn’t trust a US Court of Law anyway at this point. What is really deeply bothersome is that Steve Penny is behind a lot of this disaster and will likely remain untouched and keep his massive severance package. I’d like to see more public uproar about him and the severance.
    Thanks again.


  3. Is there a body that could easily become the replacement for USA Gymnastics? I would love to see a new entity come in its stead but in such a way as to prevent the complete collapse of gymnastics in the US. The semi-centralized system has produced results but we need an organization that puts the athletes first.


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