The United States Olympic Committee was made aware of sexual abuse in gymnastics more than two decades before the Lawrence G. Nassar molestation scandal shook the sport to its core, according to court documents filed Wednesday in a California federal court.
Kathy Scanlan, the president of U.S.A. Gymnastics from 1994 to 1998, said in a sworn statement last month that she had notified the U.S.O.C. of the sexual abuse problem soon after she took charge of the organization. The U.S.O.C.’s response, she said, was to discourage her from using the federation’s established protocol for investigating and disciplining its professional members who were accused of sexual abuse. She said that she had gone ahead and pursued cases the accused anyway.
“U.S.O.C.’s challenge to U.S.A.G. disciplining professional members in this fashion (specifically impeding the ability to ban, suspend or investigate a member) would have inhibited me from adequately protecting minor members,” Scanlan said in her statement, which was part of hundreds of pages of documents filed Wednesday in a lawsuit that Aly Raisman, the two-time Olympian, has filed. Raisman is suing Nassar, who was the national team doctor; the U.S.O.C.; U.S.A. Gymnastics; and other defendants.