North American gymnasts are indemnified by 337 million euros
They were victims of abuse by the selection doctor
Published in 14/12/2021 - 10:54 By Carla Quirino - Repórter da RTP - Washington
Olympic athletes Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman are among more than 330 young women who were abused by US team doctor Larry Nassar. The hundreds of gymnasts reached a compensatory court agreement worth 337 million euros with the Federation and the Olympic Committee of the United States (USA).
Therefore, a five-year legal battle that involved several generations of gymnasts and put Larry Nasser in prison for more than 300 years is over.
After the conviction of the doctor who accompanied the athletes in the US team, the abuse scandal that shook the sporting climate reaches its last stage.
An Indiana state court set the compensation amount for the hundreds of victims: €337 million, one of the highest ever awarded to sexual abuse cases.
Insurers from the Federation and the Olympic and Paralympic Committee will be responsible for most of the $337 million. The second entity agreed to pay 30 million euros, of which 6 million will be lent by the Federation.
Rachael Denhollander was the first woman to publicly denounce Nassar in 2016. Upon learning of the decision, the gymnast wrote on Twitter: "This chapter is finally closed."
"Now the difficult work of reform and reconstruction can begin. Whether or not there is justice and a change is made depends on what happens next," he added. In total, Nassar has been accused of sexual abuse by more than 330 women and girls at the US Gymnastics Federation and Michigan State University.
In 2018, the year of Nassar's arrest, Michigan State University had already agreed to pay some €442 million in compensation to victims.
With the indemnity now confirmed, the total amount rises to 779 million euros.
In a statement, after approval of the compensation, the Gymnastics Federation said it was deeply sorry for the trauma and pain of the victims as a result of the organization's actions and inactions.
"Individually and collectively, survivors have bravely stepped forward to advocate for lasting change in this sport. We are committed to working with them and the entire fitness community to ensure that we continue to make safety and health a priority. and the well-being of our athletes and community above all," said Federation President Li Li Leung.
One of the lawyers representing the victims, John C. Manly, described Monday's settlement as "historic." She paid tribute to the women who testified publicly: "We prevail for one simple reason, the courage and tenacity of the survivors."
It also left open a new chapter related to the investigation process. Last summer, before the US Senate Judiciary Committee, some athletes were heard again to assess the sum of mistakes made by federal authorities, which implied the continuation of abuses.
Text translated using artificial intelligence.