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Orange County Register (California)


Olympic and World champion gymnast Jordyn Wieber alleges in a new lawsuit that USA Gymnastics destroyed medical records to cover up sexual abuse by U.S. Olympic and USA Gymnastics national team physician Larry Nassar.

In a suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Wieber also alleges that USA Gymnastics, Michigan State and former USA Gymnastics chief executive Steve Penny and board chairman Paul Parilla enabled Nassar's abuse by allowing him "to remain in a position of influence and his unsupervised or negligently supervised conduct with minor participants and members made the molestation and abuse of minor participants possible."

In particular Wieber alleges that USA Gymnastics destroyed her medical records "in order to further conceal the sexual abuse of Nassar."

"My teammates and I were subjected Larry Nassar every single month at the national team training center in Texas. He was the only male allowed to be present in the athlete dorm rooms to do whatever he wanted. He was allowed to treat us in hotel rooms alone and without any supervision," Wieber said in a statement." Nobody was protecting us from being taken advantage of. Nobody was even concerned whether or not we were being sexually abused. I was not protected. My teammates were not protected. My parents trusted USA Gymnastics and Larry Nassar to take care of me and we were betrayed by both. And now, the lack of accountability from USAG and Michigan State, have caused me and many other girls to remain shameful, confused, and disappointed."

The U.S. Olympic Committee is also named in the suit.

"USA Gymnastics will not comment on the complaint filed on behalf of Jordyn Wieber," USA Gymnastics said in a statement.

Michigan-native Wieber, the 2011 World all-around champion and a member of the record-setting "Fierce Five," the 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning team, was first treated by Nassar when she was 8. She alleges Nassar began sexually abusing her six years later.

"When I was 14 years old I tore my hamstring in my right leg," she said earlier this year. "This is when he started performing the procedure we're all now familiar with. I would cringe at how uncomfortable it felt. He would do it time after time, appointment after appointment, convincing me it was helping my hamstring injury. And the worst part was I had no idea that he was sexually abusing me for his own benefit. I knew it felt strange but he was the national team doctor. Who was I to question his treatments or even more risk my chance at making the Olympic team or being chosen to compete monthly at all our national team camps. I even talked to my teammates Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney about this treatment and how uncomfortable it made us feel. None of us really understood it."

Wieber has also questioned the medical treatment she received for a fractured shin leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games.

"Our bodies were all hanging by a thread when we were in London," Wieber said. "Who was the doctor USAG sent to keep us healthy and help us get through? The doctor that was our abuser, the doctor that is a child molester.

"Because of my shin I couldn't train without being in extreme pain and it effected the number of routines I could do to prepare for the competition and ultimately it made me feel less prepared than I should have been. I didn't qualify for the all-around competition and I went through a dark time before we won the team gold.

"Now I question everything about that injury and the medical treatment I received. Was Larry even doing anything to help my pain? Was I getting the proper medical care? Or was he only focused on which one of us he was going to prey on next? What was he thinking about when he massaged my sore muscles every day? Now I question everything."

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April 18, 2018


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