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Bankruptcy not an option for USOC – Lyons

The US Olympic Committee is not considering entering bankruptcy protection amid mounting legal pressures relating to disgraced former gymnastics coach Larry Nassar, according to the organisation’s incoming chair, Susanne Lyons.

Nassar was handed a prison sentence of up to 175 years after being found guilty of sexually abusing numerous gymnasts during his time as the US team’s physician.

A number of lawsuits have already been filed against USOC and USA Gymnastics by victims of Nassar, and USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.

“I think we discussed all the potential options but if you are asking about bankruptcy for the USOC, that option is not something that is on the table nor do we anticipate that it would be,” Lyons said in a conference call, according to the Reuters news agency. “We are looking at all options which would include at what time it might be appropriate to enter into discussions about settlements or not.”

An independent report published last week by legal firm Ropes & Gray claimed USOC and USA Gymnastics failed to act when allegations about Nassar first emerged.

The report also accused former USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun and chief of sport performance Alan Ashley of being aware of the accusations more than a year before they became public. Ashley has been sacked from his role following the release of the report.

Meanwhile two US senators have accused Blackmun of lying to Congress about his response to the original complaints by gymnasts against Nassar and have referred him to the Department of Justice.