Raisman sues USOC over abuse scandal


Los Angeles (AFP)

Olympic gymnastics gold medallist Aly Raisman is suing the United States Olympic Committee for negligence over its handling of the Larry Nassar abuse scandal, claiming the body must have known about the disgraced doctor's crimes but failed to act.

A lawsuit filed in California on Wednesday against USOC and USA Gymnastics said the two organisations "knew or should have known" about Nassar's abusive patterns of behaviour.

Nassar, 54, was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison in January. He has been accused of abusing more than 260 female athletes, including Raisman and several US Olympic stars, over a period spanning two decades.

Raisman, 23, said she was abused by Nassar at various locations starting in 2010 including at the US national team training center in Texas. The abuse also took place during the 2012 Olympics, she added.

Raisman, who captained the gold-medal winning 2012 and 2016 US Olympic teams, has been one of the most ferocious critics of USOC and USA Gymnastics' handling of the scandal.

USOC has appointed an independent investigator to probe the organisation to determine who knew what and when.

However Raisman was among gymnasts who said last month they would not co-operate with the investigation, citing mistrust of USOC and its then chief executive Scott Blackmun.

USOC announced Blackmun was resigning on Wednesday.

Raisman said in a statement quoted by US media outlets on Friday she hoped the courts would finally provide her with answers.

"After all this time, they (USOC/USA Gymnastics) remain unwilling to conduct a full investigation, and without a solid understanding of how this happened, it is delusional to think sufficient changes can be implemented," Raisman said.

"I refuse to wait any longer for these organizations to do the right thing. It is my hope that the legal process will hold them accountable and enable the change that is so desperately needed."