51 women sue US Olympic Committee for failing to prevent abuse

Fifty-one women and girls are suing the U.S. Olympic Committee and the organization's officers, directors and national governing board for failing to prevent abuse by team doctor Larry Nassar and their coaches.

The suit claims that officials who could have stopped the abuse instead covered it up or did not fully investigate it, The Denver Post reported Friday. It also claims that the Olympic Committee still does not properly handle abuse claims.

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The 134-page lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Colorado, according to the Post. The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is based in Colorado Springs.

Kimberly Dougherty, an attorney for the victims, told the newspaper that the suit shows that athletes were abused not only by Nassar but also by their coaches.

"People are starting to come forward and feel empowered to take back their voices and do something about it,” she said.

The abuse alleged in the suit reportedly took place between the 1990s and 2018, and most of the victims were minors at the time of the alleged abuse.

Some of the plaintiffs are still minors, according to the Post, with the youngest athlete listed in the suit being 8 years old.

The suit alleges violations of Title IX, victims' constitutional rights and the 2018 federal Safe Sport Act. 

A USOC spokesperson said the committee couldn't comment on pending litigation. 

Nassar was convicted of assaulting dozens of athletes and was sentenced last year to between 40 and 175 years in prison.