Sex scandal brought the American Gymnastic Federation to bankruptcy

Sex scandal brought the American Gymnastic Federation to bankruptcy

Sex scandal brought the American Gymnastic Federation to bankruptcy
The story about American doctor Larry Nassar, who worked as a doctor of the US national gymnastics team, regularly committed acts of violence and depraved acts against female athletes, broke a few years ago. The reputation and financial outcome of the sex scandal did not take long.

The entire top management of the federation resigned (in September, 2018), and the U.S. Olympic Committee began the process of revoking the authority of the federation. The sponsors began to break off previous contracts. A bankruptcy petition was filed.

The story with Nassar could have happened before. The first statements from victims about this began to appear in the North American press at the end of 2016. Before this, since 1997, the doctor have received various complaints (17 pieces), which did not entail serious consequences. The appeal to the FBI in 2015 also did not cause a serious reaction. In 2018, when the case nevertheless came to the court, Nassar was sentenced to forty years in prison. Not to let the offender be released, the judge added another 175 years to his term. This happened after Judge Rosemary Aqualina listened to the presentation by 156 victims. Subsequently, when a search was made at the doctors house, American law enforcement authorities discovered a collection of discs with child porn, which entailed an additional term of 60 and then 125 years in prison.

Despite all the horror of this story, we can say for sure that such tragic consequences, including the bankruptcy of the entire gymnastics federation, could have been avoided if coaches, sports officials and people around young girls-athletes simply reacted to their complaints and treatment with due diligence and seriousness. In fact, as it was established as a result of the trial, the coach intimidated some of the victims and tried to pay to the others. The result of this behavior is penalties for the federation in the amount of $ 215 million. This sum will go to payments to victims of violence. 

The bankruptcy of the North American Gymnastics Federation is not the only result of the trial of Larry Nassar. Half a billion dollars was awarded as compensation to the administration of the University of Michigan, in the clinic of which (on the student campus) the doctor-rapist worked. The main problem of the victims in this case is the excess of confidence in the doctor on the part of adults and the lack of sexual experience that would allow a respected doctor to identify the rapist on the part of children. Among the women, who accused the doctor of depraved acts (there were more than 265 of them as a result), were many famous athletes, including Olympic champions. Last year, an American company made a documentary about the story of Nassar, symbolically calling it At the heart of gold. It is possible that this story will change the traditions of relations between athletes and personnel of sports organizations that have developed in the United States and other countries.


04.02.2020





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