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Former US gymnastics coach being investigated, police say

Posted at 12:04 AM, Feb 08, 2018

US women gymnastics team’s coach John Geddert celebrates with the rest of the team after the US won gold in the women’s team of the artistic gymnastics event of the London Olympic Games on July 31, 2012 at the 02 North Greenwich Arena in London. Team US won gold, Team Russia took silver and Team Romania got bronze. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX / AFP PHOTO / – (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

John Geddert, a US Olympic coach in 2012 and onetime owner of an elite Michigan gymnastics club, is the subject of a police investigation, Eaton County Undersheriff Jeffrey Cook said this week.

Cook wouldn’t comment on the nature of the ongoing investigation.

Eaton County Sheriff spokeswoman Jerri Nesbitt said people have come to them with complaints about Geddert.

Nesbitt wouldn’t comment on the type of complaints, type of investigation or how many people have come forward.

Geddert’s attorney, Chris Bergstrom, did not return calls for comment Wednesday. According to media reports, Geddert released a statement last year saying he had “zero knowledge” of the sexual abuse committed by Larry Nassar, who volunteered at his gym.

Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney Doug Lloyd told CNN he is aware of the investigation but has not been briefed on details.

Last month, USA Gymnastics suspended Geddert, owner of the Twistars Gymnastics Club, one of the locations where Larry Nassar, a disgraced former gymnastics physician, has admitted to sexually abusing young female athletes.

At the time, Bergstrom released a statement that said, “Mr. Geddert only wishes to convey his heart-felt sympathy to all victims of Larry Nassar’s abuse. Any further comments will distract from the victims’ statements at Nassar’s sentencing.”

Geddert, 60, coached the 2012 USA “Fierce Five” Olympic women’s gymnastics team. Four members of that team, including Jordyn Wieber, have said Nassar abused them. Geddert was also Wieber’s personal coach. He was also the women’s coach at the 2011 World Championships.

Geddert is no longer listed as owner on the Twistars, which has two locations in Michigan. CNN affiliate WILX reports the coach recently transferred ownership to his wife, Kathryn.

Twistars Gymnastics Club did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Nassar, the once-renowned doctor for USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University and Twistars, has admitted to using his position as a trusted doctor to sexually abuse young girls under the guise of providing medical treatment. Some of the girls he pleaded guilty to abusing were members at Twistars.

He has been sentenced in three different courts, including in Eaton County. Nearly 200 girls and women gave victim impact statements.

Makayla Thrush, was one of the women who used part of their time to call Geddert an enabler and say he was physical abusive.

“You’re a horrible gym owner and just as bad at keeping Twistars a safe place,” she told the court. Thrush said she would often wait hours after practice to see Nassar.

“Thank you both, John and Larry, for being one of the biggest disappointments in my life and destroying me,” she said.

Nassar, 54, will first be sent to federal prison to serve a 60-year sentence for child pornography.

Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee have denied they helped cover up the abuse. Still, the organizations have seen major leadership shake-ups and face extensive legal investigations into their inner workings to find out who knew what, when they knew it and what they did about it.