Team USA doctor accused of sex abuse says he wasn’t fired
Also, probe finds a complaint involving a third alleged victim
I NDIANAPOLIS A longtime team physician for USA Gymnastics on Tuesday disputed the Olympic organization’s statement that he had been fired in 2015 after athlete complaints.
The disagreement over why Larry Nassar left the volunteer position he held for 29 years came after The Indianapolis Star published a story Monday detailing two former gymnasts’ accusations that Nassar had sexually assaulted them during treatments.
IndyStar also learned Tuesday that Nassar was the subject of a misconduct complaint involving a third alleged victim in 2014. The complaint was brought by a recent female graduate of Michigan State University, where Nassar is a faculty member. It alleged “abuse during a medical procedure.”
A school spokesman said Nassar was investigated and the prosecutor did not file charges. Nassar has not been charged with any crime in connection with the allegations. His attorney has said his client “adamantly denies any misconduct at this or any other time.”
Nassar has been “relieved of clinical and patient duties” at the university since Aug. 30, when campus police received an allegation by one of the women who came forward in response to
IndyStar’s investigation of USA Gymnastics and its handling of sexual abuse complaints. In response to questions from
IndyStar last week, Indianapolisbased USA Gymnastics said it had received earlier complaints about Nassar from gymnasts other than those in the IndyStar story.
“Dr. Nassar is no longer affiliated with USA Gymnastics,” the statement said. “Upon learning of athlete concerns, USA Gymnastics immediately notified law enforcement. Since then, we have cooperated fully with the law enforcement agency, including refraining from making further statements or taking any other action that might interfere with the agency’s investigation. We are grateful to the athletes for coming forward to share their concerns.”
The group, which serves as the sport’s national governing body and selects the Olympic team, would not respond to specific questions about its handling of the allegations against Nassar, including the law enforcement agency where it reported Nassar.
But after the story was published on IndyStar.com, USA Gymnastics issued a subsequent statement with more detail, including that Nassar had been “relieved” of his position.
Nassar’s attorney, Matt Borgula, issued a statement Tuesday disputing that claim.
“Dr. Nassar was never ‘relieved’ of his volunteer position at USA Gymnastics,” the statement said. “He considered retirement in 2013, long before the current allegations came to light, but was asked to stay on by the coaches and athletes because they relied on his expertise to care for the gymnasts that represent our country. He later retired in 2015 after 29 years of service.
“His decision was not influenced by the current allegations because he was unaware of those allegations until yesterday. Instead, he retired because it was a voluntary position and he wished to pursue other interests outside of USA Gymnastics.”
2008 LANSING STATE JOURNAL PHOTO Larry Nassar