The Latest: MSU gymnastics coach retires amid scandal
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on legal action related to a former Michigan State University sports doctor accused of sexually abusing athletes (all times local):
Michigan State women’s gymnastics coach Kathie Klages says she’s retiring immediately, a day after the school announced her suspension.
Klages has been coach for nearly 30 years. Her name has surfaced in lawsuits by female athletes who accuse a Michigan State sports doctor, Larry Nassar, of sexually abusing them during treatments. He denies it.
Klages is accused of downplaying complaints made by two teens in the late 1990s. But athletic director Mark Hollis says he was troubled by Klages’ “passionate defense” of Nassar to members of the gymnastics team during a meeting last September.
Hollis referred to the meeting in a letter to Klages dated Tuesday.
Klages’ attorney, Shirlee Bobryk, says Klages would never put athletes in “harm’s way.” She says Klages is retiring “out of respect to the university and the gymnastics program.”
A second woman says that the Michigan State women’s gymnastics coach was aware of complaints of assault by a sports doctor who treated female athletes.
Coach Kathie Klages was suspended Monday. New allegations against her were disclosed Tuesday by a woman who is seeking to join more than two dozen in a lawsuit against Dr. Larry Nassar.
In a court filing, the woman says she was part of a youth gymnastics program in 1997-98. She says Klages asked her if Nassar had penetrated her vagina with his fingers.
The woman said yes. She says Klages told her there’s “no reason to bring up” Nassar’s conduct.
Klages hasn’t responded to emails seeking comment. Nassar was a Michigan State doctor who also worked for USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. He denies abuse.