USA Gymnastics files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- USA Gymnastics is turning to bankruptcy in an effort to ensure its survival.

The embattled organization filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on Wednesday as it attempts to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces and to forestall its potential demise at the hands of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

USA Gymnastics filed the petition in Indianapolis, where it is based. It faces 100 lawsuits representing 350 athletes in various courts across the country who blame the group for failing to supervise Larry Nassar, a team doctor accused of molesting them.

Kathryn Carson, who was recently elected chairwoman of the board of directors, said the organization is turning to bankruptcy to speed things up after mediation attempts failed to gain traction.

She says: "This is not a liquidation. This is a reorganization."

Carson says the legal maneuvering delays the USOC's efforts to strip its designation as a national governing body.

John Manley, an attorney representing survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse, released a statement about the bankruptcy.

It reads, "Today’s bankruptcy filing by USA Gymnastics was the inevitable result of the inability of this organization to meet its core responsibility of protecting its athlete members from abuse. The leadership of USA Gymnastics has proven itself to be both morally and financially bankrupt. They have inflicted and continue to inflict unimaginable pain on survivors and their families. They are incapable of meeting their obligations as an Olympic governing body.

The bankruptcy filing follows more than two years of organizational chaos and attempts to cover-up the Larry Nassar scandal by destroying key documents, issuing false statements to the public, obstructing criminal investigations and attempting to silence victims of child sexual abuse.

This bankruptcy filing will suspend all lawsuits by Nassar survivors and their ongoing efforts to discover the truth about who at USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee knew about Nassar’s criminal conduct and failed to stop it.

We strongly encourage Congress and the relevant state and local law enforcement agencies investigating this matter to redouble their efforts to uncover the truth and hold all responsible parties accountable."

John Manly, Founding Partner, Manly, Stewart & Finaldi