Michigan State University is taking disciplinary actions against more officials in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal of Larry Nassar, a former employee who also served as a doctor for the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team.
The university said Friday it plans to fire the former dean of its osteopathic medicine college, William Strampel, taking the first step to remove his tenure. It also said Suresh Mukherji, chairman of the Department of Radiology and chief medical officer of the MSU HealthTeam, has been suspended.
Both Strampel and Mukherji are accused of not doing enough to enforce restrictions against Nassar following a university investigation. That investigation cleared Nassar of sexual assault allegations in 2014, but recommended Nassar not be alone with patients while treating their “sensitive areas.”
The university’s president and athletic director have stepped down amid a storm of criticism about how the school handled the sexual assault scandal.
Olympic committee response
Nassar worked for Michigan State University and also treated gymnasts on the U.S. team in his role as a volunteer doctor.
He has pleaded guilty to molesting female athletes under the guise of medical treatment for nearly two decades, and has been given two prison sentences in Michigan of 40 to 125 years and 40 to 175 years. He is also serving a 60-year federal term for child pornography convictions.
In another development Monday, U.S. Olympic Committee leaders defended CEO Scott Blackmun's response to sex-abuse complaints from gymnasts despite calls for him to resign.
U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Larry Probst told reporters in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the committee will wait for results of an independent investigation into the federation's handling of sex-abuse complaints before making any decision.
Probst also apologized to victims of Nassar: “To the women, both those who chose to testify and those who did not, who have demonstrated tremendous bravery, poise and strength in the most difficult circumstances imaginable, let me say this: the Olympic system failed you and we are so incredibly sorry.”