Olympic coach banned after sex abuse allegations

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Olympic coach banned after sex abuse allegations
HUNTINGTON BEACH (BDCi) – Don Peters, a former Olympic gymnastics coach, is being accused of having sexually abused at least three teen gymnasts. His coaching privileges have been permanently revoked and he has also lost his spot in the sport’s Hall of Fame.

According to KTLA, Peters resigned his USA Gymnastics membership following the allegations and stepped down as coach and director of the gymnastics club he hilt in Huntington Beach, SCATS.

Peters, 62, is also “permanently ineligible” for membership by the nation’s governing body for gymnastics, USA Gymnastics and cannot volunteer at over 2,000 member clubs nationwide.

The accusers are Doe Yamashiro, former U.S. national team and SCATS member, and a second anonymous gymnast. Yamashiro is claiming Peters started fondling her back in 1986. She was 16 at the time and alleges she had sex with him when she was 17.

The second gymnast says they had sex when she was 18.

Peters confessed to Linda McNamara, a former SCATS assistant director, that he had had sex with three teen gymnasts, two of them being Yamashiro and the unnamed gymnast.

Because the alleged abuse happened in the ’80s, the statute of limitations for prosecuting Peters in California has expired.

Peters led the 1984 U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastic team with Mary Lou Retton, winning a record eight medals.

Two other coaches, Michael Zapp and Doug Boger, have also been accused of abuse. Both have recently been working at Zapp’s ArtSports World Gym in Colorado Springs.

Zapp has been convicted of second-degree sexual abuse for fondling a 12-year-old gymnast’s breasts in 1987, despite denial of the allegations. He resigned as owner of his gym and is selling it.

Boger, released from ArtSports, had already been banned by USA Gymnastics because he was accused of sexual and physical abuse by over a dozen former gymnasts at a Pasadena gym.

By: Diego Díaz
Source: KTLA
Photo: Google
17 November 2011
11:05 a.m. P.D.T.

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