Transcript for Missed opportunities to sound the alarm on Nassar: Part 4
I was told it was medical treatment, who who was I to question that? I was a 17-year-old girl. He reassured me it was fine and what he was doing was okay, and he told my mom the same exact thing too. I was very cognizant of the reality that one anonymous voice would never be enough because Larry was backed by two very powerful institutions. And maybe me coming forward and speaking was going to ruin a good doctor's reputation. These are the rationalizations that you have going through your mind. ??? Reporter: Michigan state university is a renowned sports Mecca. It's Spartans' winning national championships with its acclaimed football and basketball programs. But the east Lansing based school also has a reputation as a premiere des neigh for elite gymnasts from around the country. It is known as being a powerhouse place with treatment and care of gymnasts. Reporter: So how was it possible that Dr. Larry Nassar, the so-called god doctor for usa gymnastics could get away with what he did for so many years? In 1997, 16-year-old Larissa Boyce was training with the program under msu's head gymnastics coach, Kathy claygus. It was a dream come true. That was until Dr. Larry Nassar got his hands on her. Larissa says she reported the abuse to her coach. She picked up a piece of paper and said, you know, I can file this, but there is going to be very serious consequences for both you and Dr. Nassar. What is that supposed to mean? Is that a threat? I perceived it as of I would be embarrassed and the shame of that type of accusation. And, you know, she didn't even tell my parents. The person she did tell was Larry Nassar. When you saw Larry next, what happened? I remember he came in the office and closed the door, sat on his chair, and he reassured me that it was a medical treatment, that it was to help me, and I said, I am so sorry. It was a big misunderstanding and it's all my fault. I apologized? I hopped back up on the table and he continued to abuse me. Reporter: And it wasn't the only time a gymnast says she reported Nassar to that same coach. Remember Lindsey Lemke? Her mom says she called the coach in a panic nearly to years after Larissa Boyce complained. I called Kathy that night, and I told her. I said, you know, Kathy, he did it to Lindsey too, and I said, but, you know, we're really upset about this, and I think we need to speak to the authorities tomorrow. And she said, this is a legal medical procedure, Christy. So she knew that this had been going on. Wow. And that was it, you know? There was no support, you know, no nothing. She came into practice one day and said, I have this card that we got for Larry. You don't have to sign it if you don't want to, but I think it would be great of you guys if you could let him know we're thinking of him and praying for him. Really? Yes. Why did Kathy support Larry so wholeheartedly? They had been friends since the '90s. Kathy did not respond to our repeated requests for an interview, yobut our colleagues from ESPN's "Outside the lines" caught up with her recently. Hey. I'm John Barr with ESPN. Can I ask you a couple of questions? No, I'm sorry. A couple of women told us they spoke with you back in 1997 and they told you that Larry Nassar penetrated them -- I'm sorry. Reporter: Michigan state would eventually suspend her, and she announced her reairport to the next day saying, if she hadoubts about Nassar, she would have reacted immediately to protect her gymnasts. But Larissa and Lindsey and other gymnasts allege in lawsuits that there were many others that failed to protect them from Nassar and turned a blind eye to the abuse. There were institutions that allowed this to happen. The culture of abuse in gymnastics that allowed this to happen. What are all these coaches and what's the federation getting out of this? I think Larry was willing to let these girls practice no matter what their injuries were, and that's what the coaches wanted. Reporter: Then, a possible turning point. In 2014, a young woman complained about Dr. Nassar, and Michigan state launched a formal investigation. There was a problem. Some of the witnesses were close to Nassar, including one of his proteges, which is just unbelievable. Reporter: Nassar then returned to work at Michigan state for another two years. ESPN reported that over those two years, Nassar assaulted at least a dozen young women who have since gone to the police. But where was usa gymnastics in all of this? At least one olympic level coach, John gender, is alleged in a lawsuit to have ignored a complaint from an athlete's family in 1998. He led the 2012 women's olympic team in London to gold, and also owns that Michigan gymnastics club. If they wanted to be an elite gymnast or go to the olympics, that was the gym to go to. You should know what that doctor is doing to your athletes. Reporter: He D violating protection policies, though his coaches privileges were suspended this week by usa gymnastics which had already severed ties with Dr. Nassar, in 2015 over athletes' concerns, but it never told Michigan state, so Nassar continued to practice there for another year. If usa gymnastics had simply in 2015, picked up the phone and called the Michigan state police, he would not been able to molest for another year. Reporter: Usa gymnastics in a statement released this week said, usa gymnastics supports an independent investigation. It is absolutely the darkest stain in U.S. Olympic history. They care more about medals than people. They cared more about the brand and making sure it was untarnished for their sponsors and for all the people cheering in the stands and watching on television. If somebody had listened to you, Larissa, most of these women here would never have been abused by that man. Contradict. That must make your blood boil. Yes, absolutely.
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