By DAVID EGGERT
LANSING, Mich. (AP) – USA Gymnastics told Congress it has not used non-disclosure agreements in investigations except in the case of Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney, one of more than 200 women and girls who have said now-imprisoned sports doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused them under the guise of treatment.
The Indianapolis-based organization’s statement was part of its response to an initial congressional inquiry that was made public Tuesday. The leaders of a Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over the health and safety of athletes also released answers provided by Michigan State University – Nassar’s longtime employer – and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
The Senate probe, one of at least three investigations in Congress, is partly focused on the non-disclosure agreement for Maroney, who in December sued to invalidate the deal that had been reached with USA Gymnastics more than a year before. She said she was forced to sign the confidential settlement and argued it violated California law.
USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry in a letter to Sens. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, and Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, denied that the organization coerced Maroney and said it had worked with its insurer to resolve the claim “expeditiously without the need for litigation.” USA Gymnastics took “absolutely no action” against Maroney with respect to the confidentiality provision when she disclosed the abuse publicly in October and has publicly praised her for coming forward, Perry said. Maroney also had a victim impact statement read on her behalf when Nassar was recently sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison in Michigan.
“At this time, USA Gymnastics deems the parties mutually released from the mutual confidentiality agreement (and certain other settlement provisions challenged in her lawsuit) and has communicated that to Ms. Maroney’s counsel,” Perry wrote.
She also told the senators that USA Gymnastics has not used non-disclosure agreements in conjunction with other investigations.
But John Manly, an attorney representing many women and girls who were molested by Nassar, said Tuesday that the statement “is a lie.” He said he has “spoken to USAG athletes bound by NDAs.”
He said Maroney’s suit continues because she wants an injunction “preventing them from engaging…