Another congressional committee looking into Nassar scandal
Feb. 09--WASHINGTON -- Adding to inquiries by members of at least two other congressional committees, the U.S. House Oversight Committee said Thursday it is investigating how Larry Nassar, a Michigan State University employee and well-known sports medicine doctor, was allowed to sexually abuse female athletes for decades.
In recent weeks, Nassar -- who previously worked for both USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee -- has been sentenced to serve what will likely be the rest of his life in prison for charges ranging from molesting athletes to child pornography. More than 150 women have spoken against him in court so far.
On Thursday, Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and its ranking Democrat, U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, along with several other members of the panel, sent letters to the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University and others, demanding information on Nassar.
No hearing date was set.
Among the documents and other information being asked for are all training materials, policies and procedures, including those related to medical consents and examinations, going back to 1996; any communications or complaints regarding Nassar, and steps being taken to address future instances of sexual abuse.
A letter sent to interim MSU President John Engler said, "Michigan State ... is at the center of many of these failures" and that the committee "seeks to better understand MSU's responsibility to its gymastics team, its policies and procedures on sexual assault and the actions it plans to take in response" to the scandal.
The university and Olympic organizations were stung by the Nassar scandal, with allegations that complaints of Nassar's abuse of women had not adequately been addressed. The committee -- which also sent letters to Twistars USA Gymnastics Club and the Karolyi Ranch gymnastics training facility in Texas in relation to the complaints against Nassar and USA Gymnastics -- asked that the documentation be provided by Feb. 22.
"Sexual assault should never be tolerated but when it does occur, it is imperative that swift and immediate action be taken to stop the abuse, prevent it from recurring and address its effects," the USA Gymnastics letter said. It added, "One of the most disturbing aspects of the survivors' accounts is how this reprehensible conduct went undetected or ignored for years."
Members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee have also asked USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and MSU for information related to the Nassar case. Several Michigan legislators also have called for investigations, including several members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Contact Todd Spangler: 703-854-8947 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @tsspangler.