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Two brothers who were towering figures in the world of taekwondo — one an Olympian gold medalist, the other his longtime coach — were accused of sexually assaulting female athletes, including minors, for years in a lawsuit filed in federal court on Friday.
The lawsuit also accused the United States Olympic Committee and the national sports organization U.S.A. Taekwondo of turning a blind eye to the abuse and allowing coaches and athletes who had shown a pattern of predatory behavior to take international trips with young women and girls.
The article goes on to state the following:
The lawsuit, which names five John Does among the defendants, said the allegations took place over two decades and included “sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking” of Olympic athletes by the “officials, coaches, and mentors who were entrusted to protect them.”
The suit also named Steven Lopez, 39, a decorated athlete and Olympic gold medalist, and his brother, Jean Lopez, 44, a prominent coach, as defendants and laid out the sexual abuse and misconduct claims against them in detail.
U.S.A. Taekwondo launched an investigation into the claims in 2015, and the brothers last year denied allegations of sexual abuse.
After NPR reported on Jean Lopez last month, he was banned from the sport. Steven Lopez continues to be under investigation. https://t.co/hskQqleuld
— NPR (@NPR) May 5, 2018
— David Barron (@dfbarron) May 5, 2018
A wide-ranging civil lawsuit alleges that USOC knew about serial abuse by Jean and Steven Lopezhttps://t.co/aHobGLWxmP
— Gymnastics Coaching (@GymCoaching) May 5, 2018
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