A federal court in Indianapolis confirmed that the more than 500 athletes harmed by the sexual abuse of Larry Nassar, a former sports doctor, and other members of the United States Gymnastics Federation (USA Gymnastics or USAG), will receive compensation whose total number rises to about 380 million dollars, one of the highest in history.

The agreement was thus concluded between USA Gymnastis and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committees, as a way to resolve the lawsuits between these organizations and the more than 500 victims, in a legal battle that lasted just over five years.

More than 90% of the victims voted in favor of the provisional agreement reached in September. That settlement required $ 425 million in damages, but the courts conditionally approved a modified $ 380 million settlement.

More than 300 athletes were abused by Nassar, who served as USAG’s national team doctor for years. Numerous survivors were in mediation with USAG, trying to receive money to pay for the expensive mental health treatment they need due to the sexual abuse they suffered under their supervision.

However, the financial consequences are only part of the equation. A series of non-monetary provisions will make victims interested in USA Gymnastics in the future. The provisions include a dedicated seat on the organization’s board of directors and a comprehensive look at the culture and practices within USA Gymnastics that allowed abusers like Nassar to run wild for years.

Investigations conducted during the lawsuit revealed that USAG had known about the victims’ complaints for years but refused to act on it, and when an internal investigation was finally carried out, complaints from gymnasts like Simone Biles were ignored. The Olympic and Paralympic Committees, which then operated as the US Olympic Committee, were also aware of several complaints of Nassar’s sexual abuse from the start and ignored them.

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The deal was confirmed during a hearing in federal bankruptcy court in Indianapolis on Monday, Dec. 13, the Wall Street Journal noted. The sum is among the largest ever recorded for victims of sexual abuse and includes hundreds of athletes who were assaulted over three decades.

The survivors approved the deal in August, but it was not fully funded: at least one insurer and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committees rejected the amount they had to pay in the deal. Both parties recently reached an agreement on their monetary contributions to the deal, which allowed the process to move forward.

The specific details of the deal are not known, so it is unclear how the $ 380 million will be divided. According to the investigation, some of that money will also be used to settle accounts with USAG’s creditors, helping to bring it out of bankruptcy and, furthermore, the Olympic and Paralympic Committees are required to end their effort to decertify USAG as the national gymnastics governing body, a process that began several years ago when Nassar’s first abuses came to light.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the settlement will cover claims brought by Olympic gold medalists, including Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, who are among the most prominent victims of sexual abuse of the former doctor, Nassar, who was sentenced to 175 years. in prison.

The three testified about the abuse they suffered during a hearing before the Senate in 2021 and there they criticized the gymnastics officials and US Olympians for not arresting Nassar, and the FBI for its failed investigation into the doctor’s actions.

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“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar but also the entire system that allowed and perpetrated the abuse. USA Gymnastics, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee knew that I was being abused by their team doctor. After telling my full story of abuse to the FBI in the summer of 2015, not only did the FBI not report my abuse, but when they finally documented my report 17 months later, they made completely false claims about what I said, “he noted at the time. the Olympic multi-champion, Simone Biles.


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