DETROIT – New emails suggest USA Gymnastics officials covered for former sports doctor Larry Nassar after he was accused of sexually assaulting female athletes.
When Nassar was accused of child sexual abuse in 2015, emails obtained by the Indianapolis Star show USA Gymnastics officials agreed to hide the real reason Nassar wouldn't attend two major events.
The emails show that instead of telling parents about the investigation, the organization came up with what Nassar's attorney called "false excuses."
Nassar suggested that USA Gymnastics tell people that he couldn't attend two major events that summer because he was sick or needed to focus on his work at Michigan State University, the Indianapolis Star reported.
"We'll let Ron know to advise people that you weren't feeling well and decided to stay home," Scott Himsel, an attorney hired by USA Gymnastics, replied, referring to Ron Galimore, chief operating officer.
USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, is accused of covering up assault allegations against Nassar. The group didn't tell Michigan State or elite gymnastics clubs about complaints against him in 2015.
Nassar publicly stated in September 2015 that he was retiring from the Indianapolis-based group, but he continued to see young women and girls for many months at his Michigan State office and a gym near Lansing, Michigan.
USA Gymnastics officials have declined to comment about the emails.
"I don't think that they cared at all," Olympian Aly Raisman said. "I think at first it was to get ... Nassar away from the Olympians, but when it was about a 10-year-old or a 15-year-old or 20-year-old in Michigan they didn't care."
Nassar is serving decades in prison for sexual assault and possession of child pornography.
Michigan State has agreed to pay $425 million to 332 victims and set aside $75 million for additional claimants. There's been no broad settlement involving USA Gymnastics.