$380M sexual abuse settlement caps biggest scandal in U.S. Olympic history
The legal wrangling between USA Gymnastics and the victims of sexual abuse by former national team doctor Larry Nassar, among others, is over.
The fight for substantive change within the sport’s national governing body is just beginning.
A federal bankruptcy court in Indianapolis on Monday confirmed a $380 million settlement between USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the hundreds of victims, ending one aspect of the fallout of the largest sexual abuse scandal in the history of the U.S. Olympic movement.
Over 90% of the victims, who number more than 500, voted in favor of the tentative agreement reached in September. That agreement called for $425 million in damages, but a modified settlement of $380 million was conditionally approved by the courts. More than 300 victims were abused by Nassar, with the remaining victims abused by individuals affiliated with USA Gymnastics in some capacity.
The financial fallout, however, is just one part of the equation. A series of nonmonetary provisions will make the victims stakeholders at USA Gymnastics going forward. The provisions include a dedicated seat on the organization’s board of directors and a thorough look at the culture and practices within USA Gymnastics that allowed abusers like Nassar to run unchecked for years.
“Individually and collectively, survivors have stepped forward with bravery to advocate for enduring change in this sport,” USA Gymnastics president Li Li Leung said in a statement after the settlement was approved. “We are committed to working with them, and with the entire gymnastics community, to ensure that we continue to prioritize the safety, health and wellness of our athletes and community above all else.”
Hundreds of girls and women have said Nassar sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment when he worked for Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, and a Michigan gym that’s a USA Gymnastics member. Latest coverage: