Victims of Larry Nassar’s abuse reach a millionaire agreement with the Gymnastics Federation | Sports

Gymnasts Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols, after testifying before the Senate last September.Saul Loeb (AFP)

closed chapter. This is how former gymnast Rachel Denhalander considered the damages agreement reached Monday by hundreds of victims of Doctor Larry Nassar with the United States Gymnastics Association. More than 500 athletes, including medalists like Simon Biles, McKayla Maroney and Allen Raisman, received $380 million in damages in what was the biggest sexual assault scandal in American sports.

The amount, which comes after a five-year judicial process, is the second largest ever given to victims of such sexual abuse in the United States. The University of Michigan, where Nassar employed, settled in 2018 for $500 million with 332 complainants. A number was revealed Monday in the process being followed in Indiana to bankrupt the Gymnastics Association, a metaphor for what has happened with the body since the 1990s and throughout the four Olympics. A period in which Nassar assaulted hundreds of women. However, complaints were ignored by the leadership of the gymnastics apparatus. The scandal erupted in September 2016 when medalist Jamie Dancher finally went to court. It was followed in 2018 by hundreds of women who applied for compensation, financially undermining a pillar of local sport after decades of ignoring complaints and abuse.

The amount will be covered by insurer TIG, although the agreement requires an Olympic Committee contribution of $40 million, six of which are in a loan to the union. This is the first sign of the committee, which has tried over the past years to distance itself from the scandal by saying that Nassar did not work with him directly.

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It’s time to fix and start rebuilding. What comes next will depend on whether or not justice is served or if changes are made, Denhollander said on social media after the agreement was announced. The former athlete was one of the first to publicly accuse Nasser, who is serving a sentence of between 40 and 175 years in prison. The player has become an activist and said today that she is proud of the non-monetary commitments the federation has received, and that it will have new leaders who should publicly direct efforts to prevent abuse.

In September, several of Nasser’s victims went to the Senate to testify in the ongoing case about the mishandling of the case by the FBI, the FBI. On that day, the world could hear from athletes like Biles, winner of 25 metals in seven games, the tragic experiences. The athletes claimed “they should be held accountable,” referring to agents who did not investigate the first complaints, which could have reduced the number of women abused by Nassar to 70.

“The agent who interviewed me wanted to convince me that he did not deserve to open a criminal case against Nassar,” Aly Raisman told the senators. The six-medal winner in London and Rio admitted to lawmakers that she insisted on speaking with clients who conducted the investigations for 14 months. To other victims, McKella Maroney, they said “Is that all?” After she explained how a doctor stuck her fingers on her genitals for hours when she was thirteen years old.

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A devastating report published in July exposed the disaster of the FBI’s investigation. In July 2015, Steve Penny, president of the Gymnastics Association, came before them to denounce Nassar. The official told investigators that three athletes were willing to speak with authorities to report the harassment. The agents also gave a USB device containing photos and videos of the doctor’s purported treatments to his patients, most of whom were minors. The agents were not interested in the case. In September they heard from one of the victims. After that, the FBI did not conduct interviews or follow up on leads for more than eight months.

The damage leveling includes not only some of America’s most successful gymnasts. It also features hundreds of anonymous young women from small local clubs who once crossed paths with Nassar in his office. To a lesser extent, there are some women who trained and were not sexually abused, but were psychologically abused by some union members. “At a certain point the negotiations have to be concluded because these women need help. And they need it now. The real reform begins now,” Denhlander said.

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