Famed Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney has filed a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics, accusing the organization of trying to cover up abuses perpetrated by former team doctor Larry Nassar.
Earlier this month, Dr. Nassar pleaded guilty to charges of criminal sexual conduct and child pornography, and he was sentenced to 60 years in prison. Many gymnasts, including Gold Medal winners Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, accused the doctor of sexually assaulting them under the pretext of providing medical care. USA Gymnastics, which is the governing body for American gymnastics, fired the man in 2015, but he continued to allegedly abuse patients at his Michigan State University practice until his arrest.
Maroney’s suit asserts that USA Gymnastics attempted to silence her abuse claims against the doctor by having her sign a nondisclosure agreement. This, the suit states, came after more than 100 athletes had come forward with stories of abuse. The suit also claims that the organization failed to protect her and other athletes.
Her complaint states that the monetary settlement between her and the organization contained a confidentiality clause so that they could continue to conceal the doctor’s crimes. She further insists that she only agreed to settle the claim in order to pay for “lifesaving” psychological treatment and care for the alleged abuse. According to the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, Marroney received $1.25 million as part of the settlement.
The purpose of Maroney’s lawsuit is to nullify the settlement agreement, on the grounds that it violated California law. In addition to USA Gymnastics, the suit names as defendants Dr. Nassar, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State University, which employed Nassar for more than 20 years.
Two months ago on social media, Maroney posted details of her alleged abuse at the hands of Dr. Nassar. She stated that, under the guise of “medically necessary treatment,” the doctor abused her from the age of 13 right on through to the 2012 Summer Olypmics in London. She further stated that Nassar abused her even during competitions.
Back then, USA Gymnastics applauded her decision to come forward, calling it courageous, and it expressed outrage at the actions of Dr. Nassar. Though the organization has so far not commented about Maroney’s latest allegations.