This is just horrible! The USA Gymnastics organization has been accused of ignoring and brushing aside allegations of sexual abuse of young athletes by coaches, and the cases date back for years! On the eve of the Rio Olympics, the news has caused quite a bombshell scandal!
A mind-blowing new report has come out accusing USA Gymnastics — the organization that helps nurture and train future Olympic hopefuls — of ignoring and failing to report claims of sexual abuse by coaches. The Indianapolis Star dropped the article on Aug. 4, just one day before the opening ceremonies of the Rio Games, and it claims that records show the organization had complaint files on more than 50 coaches in the offices of their Indy headquarters.
While the organization refuses to release the details or contents, the paper managed to track down four specific cases where sexual abuse allegations had been made against coaches and USA Gymnastics failed to act. In one case Marvin Sharp, the 2010 national Women’s Coach of the Year, was accused of inappropriately touching minor girls and a report warned he shouldn’t be around children in 2011. But the organization didn’t do anything about it for four years, until they received a detailed case where he was accused of “touching a gymnast’s vagina, trimming her pubic hair and taking sexually explicit pictures of her” starting when she was only 12. USA Gymnastics only then finally reported him to the police and he later killed himself while in jail facing federal charges.
In another case, USA Gymnastics had four reports of sexual misconduct against Georgia coach William McCabe back in 1998 but never went to the police about the reports. He went on to coach for another six years until a woman went to the FBI about filthy e-mails he sent to her 11-year-old daughter. Only then when an investigation was opened, he was finally charged with “molesting gymnasts, secretly videotaping girls changing clothes and posting their naked pictures on the internet,” and is now serving 30 years in prison.
The timing of the report is a total stain on the reputation of USA Gymnastics, especially with the U.S. Women’s team expected to bring home loads of gold medals. The organization’s president Steve Penny said in a statement that, “addressing issues of sexual misconduct has been important to USA Gymnastics for many years, and the organization is committed to promoting a safe environment for its athletes.” He added, “USA Gymnastics has, in the strongest terms, encouraged anyone who believes abuse has occurred to contact law enforcement and frequently works with law enforcement on these matters.” Hmm, after what the Indy Star uncovered, they apparently aren’t very good at practicing what they preach!
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked about the gymnastics sex abuse scandal?