USA Gymnastics files for bankruptcy protection in wake of Larry Nassar scandal

Reeling from lawsuits over the serial sexual abuse perpetrated on athletes by former Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday.

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The organization filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Indianapolis, Indiana, according to court records.

“The filing enables us to expedite an equitable resolution of the claims made by the survivors of sexual abuse perpetrated by Larry Nassar,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement released Wednesday.

The USAG officials emphasized that claims made against the organization by Nassar’s victims are covered by insurance and will not be affected by the bankruptcy action.

“We owe it to the survivors to resolve, fully and finally, claims based on the horrific acts of the past and, through this process, seek to expedite resolution and help them move forward,” said Kathryn Carson, the recently-elected chair of the USAG’s board of directors. “Our sport is safer and stronger thanks to the bravery of these women. The Chapter 11 filing and the expedited resolution of these claims are critical first steps in rebuilding the community’s trust.”

The move comes as the organization continues to search for a new chief executive officer.

“We hope to have this position filled in early 2019,” the USAG statement says. “We’re looking for someone with experience and leadership skills to build a leadership team that will help all of us to continue to restore faith and confidence in USA Gymnastics, and to set and execute a clear vision for a successful future.”

Nassar, who also worked for decades as a sports physician at Michigan State University, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting numerous athletes under the guise of medical treatment. In January, a Michigan judge sentenced him to more than 175 years in prison, calling Nassar’s choice to assault scores of girls and women, under the pretense that he was treating them, “precise, calculated, manipulative, devious and despicable.”

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