Press Release courtesy of USOC
Larry Nassar has recently been sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing athletes under the guise of medical treatment. Former Michigan State volleyball player Jennifer Rood-Bedford was among the hundreds that testified against Nassar.
A special committee of directors for the United States Olympic Committee has hired outside counsel Ropes & Gray LLP to conduct an independent investigation into the decades-long abuse by Larry Nassar to determine when individuals affiliated with USA Gymnastics or the USOC first became aware of any evidence of Nassar’s abuse of athletes, what that evidence was and what they did with it. Joan McPhee and James Dowden, both partners of the firm who are former federal prosecutors, will lead the team for Ropes & Gray, which has substantial experience in investigations involving sexual abuse issues.
“Ropes & Gray will have full discretion to conduct the investigation and make findings in whatever way Ms. McPhee and Mr. Dowden decide is appropriate,” said Susanne Lyons, the independent director of the USOC who is leading the board’s special committee.
“Ropes & Gray will prepare a written report, which will be released in its entirety to the public. The investigation will be professional, independent and thorough, and will take as long as necessary to get to the truth.
“The United States Olympic Committee pledges its full support to Ropes & Gray and will provide access to relevant documents and witnesses. USA Gymnastics has confirmed that it will do the same.
“Once the investigation is complete and the report has been published, we will work diligently to ensure that appropriate action is taken based on the facts that emerge.”
“We must ensure that a tragedy of this magnitude can never happen again,” said Whitney Ping, an athlete representative member of the USOC board.
Anybody who has information for the investigation may contact Ms. McPhee and Mr. Dowden at[email protected]