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Written by Amanda Turner    Thursday, 08 February 2018 05:00    PDF Print
World Cup Season Begins in Melbourne, Chicago
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

The 2018 FIG World Cup season kicks off February 22-25 in Melbourne with an apparatus-only tournament, followed a week later by the American Cup in Chicago, the first of four all-around competitions this year. Pictured: Georgia-Rose Brown (Australia)

The 2018 FIG World Cup season kicks off later this month in Melbourne with an apparatus-only tournament, followed a week later by the American Cup on March 3 in Chicago, the first of four all-around competitions this year.

The Melbourne World Cup features a full roster of gymnasts from Australia and China. Japan is also sending four male gymnasts, including 2013 world pommel horse champion Kohei Kameyama. World champions Morgan Hurd (United States) and Kenzo Shirai (Japan) headline the 43rd American Cup.

The 2018 season is the busiest yet for the FIG, with a record 14 competitions across four continents from February to November. The spring schedule is so packed that apparatus and all-around World Cup events will take place simultaneously on back-to-back weekends in March. The 3rd AGF Trophy will return March 15-18 to Baku, while the 35th EnBW DTB-Pokal Cup takes place March 17-18 in Stuttgart. The 11th Doha World Cup will be held March 21-24 at the Aspire Dome — site of this fall's world championships — as the Birmingham World Cup takes place March 21-22 in England.

The overall winner of the four all-around competitions this spring — taking place in Chicago, Stuttgart, Birmingham and Tokyo — will again be a country rather than an individual gymnast. The same nations are invited to compete in each competition, and gymnasts will amass points for their respective countries based on their rankings.

2018 FIG World Cup Calendar
February 22-252nd Melbourne World CupMelbourneApparatus World Cup
March 343rd American CupChicago, IllinoisAll-Around World Cup
March 15-183rd AGF TrophyBakuApparatus World Cup
March 17-1835th EnBW DTB-Pokal CupStuttgartAll-Around World Cup
March 21-22FIG World Cup Birmingham, EnglandAll-Around World Cup
March 21-2411th Doha World Cup DohaApparatus World Cup
April 14FIG World Cup TokyoAll-Around World Cup
May 24-27Grand Prix Osijek Žito Challenge CupOsijekApparatus World Challenge Cup
May 31-June 3FIG World Challenge CupKoperApparatus World Challenge Cup
June 14-17FIG World Challenge CupGuimarãesApparatus World Challenge Cup
July 6-8FIG World Challenge CupMersinApparatus World Challenge Cup
September 21-23FIG World Challenge CupSzombathelyApparatus World Challenge Cup
September 27-30FIG World Challenge CupParisApparatus World Challenge Cup
November 22-2543rd Turnier der MeisterCottbusApparatus World Cup

In the all-around series, Germany is the defending World Cup champions for the women, with Kim Bui taking second at the American Cup and Tabea Alt winning in Stuttgart and London last spring. Oleg Vernyayev led Ukraine to victory with a second-place at the American Cup and victories in Stuttgart and London as well. (Vernyayev, who has competed without a break since 2012, will be sitting out this year because of leg and shoulder injuries.)

Known as the AT&T American Cup since 2011, the tournament lost its title sponsor last month in more fallout from the Larry Nassar. USA Gymnastics is organizing the event without the help of AT&T, which joined Proctor & Gamble, Under Armour and Hershey's in canceling or not renewing their support for the troubled federation.

Neverthless, the competition has attracted an impressive field. Hurd will be joined by 2017 U.S. junior champion Maile O'Keefe, world floor exercise champion Mai Murakami (Japan), recent Elite Canada champion Brooklyn Moors, and Olympians Elisabeth Seitz (Germany) and Mao Yi. Along with O'Keefe, tricksters Fabiane Brito (2017 Brazilian junior champion) and Sanna Veerman (2017 Dutch junior all-around runner-up). British veteran Kelly Simm, a member of the bronze medal-winning team at the 2015 World Championships, rounds out the women's field.

Shirai, the world all-around bronze medalist and world champion on floor and vault, has said he is on a mission to stay among the top group of all-arounders in 2018. Reigning champion Yul Moldauer (United States) will attempt to defend his title in Chicago. His University of Oklahoma teammate Allan Bower, who took second to Moldauer at last year's U.S. championships, will be competing in his second all-around World Cup after finishing seventh last year in Stuttgart.

China's Sun Wei is slated for his third consecutive American Cup, finishing third in 2016 and seventh in 2017. Great Britain's James Hall, fifth last year in Stuttgart, will be making his American Cup debut. The lanky Petro Pakhnyuk, who returned to Ukraine last year after several years competing for Azerbaijan, is taking up the reigns in Vernyayev's absent as his country's top all-arounder. 2016 Olympian Francisco Barretto (Brazil) and 2017 world all-around finalists Philipp Herder (Germany) and Joel Plata (Spain) round out the men's field.

Seitz and Herder headline the Stuttgart World Cup along with three-time Olympian Marcel Nguyen. The strong lineup also includes Olympic gold medalist Yusuke Tanaka, British veteran Dan Purvis, Russian Olympians Angelina Melnikova and David Belyavsky, and Americans Jordan Chiles and Akash Modi.

The British gymnasts scheduled for the Birmingham World Cup were named on January 30, with the four gymnasts selected visiting a city school to make the announcement. European champion Ellie Downie will return to competition after missing last year's world championships with an injury. James Hall and 2016 Olympians Nile Wilson and Claudia Fragapane will also represent Great Britain at Arena Birmingham.

Melnikova, Nguyen, Pakhnyuk and Sun Wei will also be in Birmingham, alongside Russian Olympian Nikita Nagornyy, Japan's Hitomi Hatakeda and Americans Margzetta Frazier and Donathan Bailey.

The 2019-2020 World Cup circuit will serve as an individual qualifer to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

2nd Melbourne World Cup
February 22-25, 2018

Women's Competitors
Georgia-Rose Brown
Alexandra Eade
Georgia Godwin
Naomi Lee
Maddie Leydin
Rianna Mizzen
Isabel Barbosa
Chen Yile
Du Siyu
Li Qi
Liu Jinru
Aruna Budda Reddy
Pranati Nayak
Farah Ann Abdul Hadi
Yueh Tan Ing
Stella Ashcroft
Maia Fishwick
Estella Matthewson
Charlotte Ryan
Nadine Joy Nathan
Ng Le En
Zeng Qiyan
Tjaša Kysslef
Men's Competitors
Michael Mercieca
Mitchell Morgans
Christopher Remkes
Heath Thorpe
Michael Tone
Luke Wadsworth
Luís Porto
Gustavo Polato
Ge Shihao
Ma Yue
Tan Di
Weng Hao
Wu Guanhua
Wu Xiaoming
Matija Baron
Kristijan Vugrinski
Ashish Kumar
Rakesh Patra
Keisuke Asato
Kohei Kameyama
Hidetaka Miyachi
Kazuyuki Takeda
Danil Baturin
Yerbol Jantykov
Milad Karimi
Azizbek Kudratullayev
Nariman Kurbanov
Robert Tvorogal
Phay Xing Loo
Fu Jie Tan
Robert Honiball
David Bishop
Ethan Dick
Kyleab Ellis
Rafael Ablaza
Carlos Edriel Yulo
Aizat Bin Muhammad Jufrie
Hoe Wah Toon
Lim Kaeson
Tay Wei An Terry
Yeo Xong Sean
Sašo Bertoncelj
Rok Klavora
Lee Chih Kai

43rd American Cup
March 3, 2018, Chicago, Illinois

Women's Competitors
Fabiane Brito
Brooklyn Moors
Mao Yi
Kelly Simm
Elisabeth Seitz
Mai Murakami
Sanna Veerman
Morgan Hurd
Maile O'Keefe
Men's Competitors
Francisco Barretto
Sun Wei
James Hall
Philipp Herder
Kenzo Shirai
Joel Plata
Petro Pakhnyuk
Allan Bower
Yul Moldauer

35th EnBW DTB-Pokal Cup
March 17-18, 2018, Stuttgart

Women's Competitors
Rose-Kaying Woo
Zhang Jin
Georgia Mae Fenton
Elisabeth Seitz
Sarah Voss
Nagi Kajita
Naomi Visser
Angelina Melnikova
Jordan Chiles
Men's Competitors
Sun Wei
Dan Purvis
Marcel Nguyen
Philipp Herder
Yusuke Tanaka
Frank Rijken
David Belyavsky
Petro Pakhnyuk
Akash Modi

2018 Birmingham World Cup
March 21-22, Birmingham, England

Women's Competitors
Ellie Downie
Claudia Fragapane
Thaís Santos
Liu Jieyu
Sarah Voss
Hitomi Hatakeda
Vera van Pol
Angelina Melnikova
Margzetta Frazier
Men's Competitors
James Hall
Nile Wilson
Lucas Bitencourt
Sun Wei
Marcel Nguyen
Shogo Nonomura
Nikita Nagornyy
Petro Pakhnyuk
Donothan Bailey
Written by dwight normile    Tuesday, 06 February 2018 08:58    PDF Print
The Amazing Grace of Jordan Chiles
(13 votes, average 4.15 out of 5)

2017 national all-around silver medalist Jordan Chiles is featured in the March 2018 issue of International Gymnast.

The March 2018 issue of International Gymnast includes a feature titled "Amazing Grace." The story is about Jordan Chiles, an Oregon native who trains at Naydenov Gymnastics in Vancouver, Washington. But the title highlights Chiles' grace in gymnastics and also as a human being.

After placing second all-around at the 2017 P&G Championships in her first year as a senior, most people assumed she was on track to make the four-member U.S. women's team to the 2017 World Championships in Montreal. She was named an alternate instead.

Asked why she thought she didn't make the 2017 world team, Jordan's reply included no bitterness: "I don't really know … I really thought I did enough (at the selection camp). I am really happy for my friends, though. Every one of us works hard and deserved to go."

Jordan's mother, Gina Chiles, took the news harder than her daughter.

"The honest answer is we were very disappointed — any parent would be," Gina said. "As parents, we just want to see our kids happy, and making that team meant a dream realized."

Jordan, the youngest of five siblings, will have another chance. She's much too talented. She's one of the few American gymnasts who can vault an Amanar, and she blends powerful tumbling on floor exercise with fluid dance. She’s excellent and beam but considers bars her weak event because of her start value. She's wrong, though. She swings bars quite well.

Coached by Dimitri Taskov, who represented Bulgaria at the 1988 Olympics, and Tiffany Hirschberger, Chiles has a good thing going. She'll break through eventually. And even if she doesn't, her grace may lead her to even greater opportunities.

To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition or to order back issues of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 02 February 2018 20:19    PDF Print
Retrosi: It's Time to Say #ThanksCoach
(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

As the gymnastics community struggles to pick up the pieces following the Larry Nassar tragedy — which revealed allegations of physical, sexual and psychological abuse by gymnastics coaches — a grassroots movement has begun to reshape the sport and its image.

As the gymnastics community struggles to pick up the pieces following the Larry Nassar tragedy — which revealed allegations of physical, sexual and psychological abuse by gymnastics coaches — a grassroots movement has begun to reshape the sport and its image. Coach and educator Tony Retrosi says it's time to recognize the tremendous work of the amazing gymnastics coaches who have influenced so many athletes in a healthy and positive way.

Retrosi, the head coach and owner of Atlantic Gymnastics Training Centers, started the "Thank You to my Gymnastics Coach" page on Facebook (, because he wants to remind the public that the majority of gymnastics coaches shouldn't be lumped in with the kind who make headlines for harming athletes.

"With all the negative press, it just seemed like the right thing to do," Retrosi told IG on Friday. "There are so many great coaches out there who make a difference every day."

Retrosi is a frequent lecturer and has traveled around the world visiting clubs and teaching clinics. He was named Educator of the Year by USA Gymnastics in 2010.

1992 Olympian Wendy Bruce talks to young gymnasts.

Retrosi started the page on Thursday evening and it had several hundred fans by Friday morning. He started off the page with a shoutout to his own coaches. His very first coach was his mother, Denise Carlisle Edmonds, and he later trained with Jon Bean, Don Tonry and Kip Reed. The late Don Tonry, a long-time coach at Yale and 1960 Olympian, taught him tremendous technical knowledge, Retrosi said.

"I learned so much from all of you," he posted in tribute to his coaches.

The "survivors army" of 156 women who spoke at Nassar's first sentencing hearing in Ingham County, Michigan, stunned the world with horrific stories of sexual abuse by the once trusted doctor at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. Many of the gymnasts who gave victim impact statements shared heartbreaking tales of abusive conditions both at the club level and through the national team, which they say Nassar took advantage of, becoming a sympathetic figure who expertly groomed gymnasts, bringing them food and gifts and badmouthing their coaches, in order for the gymnasts to view him as a friend. Several of the gymnasts made allegations of physical and mental abuse against coach John Geddert, Nassar's long-time friend who has since been suspended by USA Gymnastics. Nassar was also the team doctor at Gedderts' Twistars in Michigan.

Among the most heartbreaking statements at the first sentencing hearing was from 2010 world team member Mattie Larson, who cried as she shared that she had purposely injured herself so she would not have to return to the Karolyi camp, the isolated U.S. national team training center she described as a prison, and where Nassar repeatedly abused an unknown number of gymnasts.

The public outrage and condemnation were swift, and USA Gymnastics was repeatedly cast as an enabler of sexual predators like Larry Nassar. The Indy Star's investigative piece into USA Gymnastics' failure to report sexual abuse led to the bombshell revelation about the team doctor who had quietly retired from USA Gymnastics in September 2015.

"The trail of human wreckage left by Larry Nassar may never be completely calculated," ESPN investigative reporter John Barr said.

World and Olympic champion Shawn Johnson shared her disgust, saying if she had a daughter, she would not put her in gymnastics because of what she called USA Gymnastics' utter failure to protect gymnasts from physical and sexual abuse.

Sports Illustrated writer Charles P. Pierce was the most brutal of all, comparing the horror of the sentencing to that of cannibal serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, which Pierce sat through in 1992. Pierce condemned the entire sport.

"American gymnastics is no longer a sport. It's a conspiracy of pedophiles and their enablers," he wrote on January 24, the day Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.

All this has shocked and jolted the gymnastics community. News stations across the country have flocked to local gyms for their reactions, with many responding that they do not tolerate abuse and it's time to completely change the culture of the sport. Gyms are organizing their own fundraisers to help causes and wearing teal ribbons — the awareness ribbon to support sexual assault survivors — and teal clothes at meets to show support.

The movement to change the sport has begun at the club level, as many criticize USA Gymnastics' lack of leadership in this area. All major sponsors have fled USA Gymnastics, and its entire board was forced to resign by the U.S. Olympic Committee under threat of decertification. The organization is fighting off civil lawsuits and has been accused of a massive cover-up of Nassar, who continued to work as a physician in Michigan — and assault girls and women — until September 2016. USA Gymnastics continues to insist in legal briefs that it had no legal duty to warn anyone about Nassar after he left USA Gymnastics.

But throughout the tragedy, there have been moments of pride for gymnastics coaches. It was revealed that Maggie Nichols' personal coach, Sarah Jantzi, overheard Nichols talking at the Karolyi ranch about Nassar's "treatments." Jantzi immediately raised the alarm, reporting the abuse to both USA Gymnastics and Nichols' mother. Nassar never returned to the ranch and was dismissed from the national team, and USA Gymnastics' handling of the reports has come under massive scrutiny.

And in the Lansing courtroom, several of the survivors stood up with their former coaches by their side as their support. Tom Brennan, introduced as "Coach Tom," stared down Nassar and then confronted him with such force that the moment went viral. "Coach Tom" demanded that Nassar look at the survivor as she spoke, and then when invited to make his own statement, he spoke of his crushing guilt that he had referred nearly 100 gymnasts to Nassar. He then said that his pain was nothing compared with the women Nassar had assaulted, before tossing in, "For the record, Go to hell."

"Who is that?! He is speaking for all of us!" wrote one national team coach on social media while watching the live stream.

Brennan, who had considered Nassar a mentor and close friend, believed Rachael Denhollander, the first to publicly accuse Nassar, when she told him what Nassar had done. He called up all his former gymnasts to ask if they had also been abused.

Brennan was hailed as a hero by coaches watching the live stream, and by his former gymnasts, who shared stories of what a wonderful coach he had been. Multiple people called for Brennan, who accompanied five survivors at the hearing, to be appointed to the board of USA Gymnastics.

"This has all been a surreal experience," Brennan told IG. "The girls' bravery and resilience along with their tenacious desire for change have been inspiring."

Larson was one of many voices calling for change, saying, "There is a better way, a healthy way, to create champions."

The coaches who embrace a positive and supportive philosophy should be celebrated, Retrosi decided.

Canadian coach Andrea Seright of West Wind Gymnastics in Lethbridge, Alberta, knows Retrosi and invited many to like his page to support great gymnastics coaches.

"He's been my mentor for four years," Seright told IG. "He's an extraordinary coach."

Retrosi, who operates the gymnastics education website Gym Momentum, said he hoped he would make a difference in rebuilding the image of the sport.

"I'd love to see #ThanksCoach go viral," he said.

Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 02 February 2018 12:39    PDF Print
Valeri Liukin Resigns with 'Heavy Heart' from USA Gymnastics
(10 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

Valeri Liukin has resigned from his position as the women's national team coordinator for USA Gymnastics, he said Friday in a statement, saying the "present climate causes me, and more importantly, my family, far too much stress, difficulty and uncertainty." Pictured: Valeri Liukin and Marta Karolyi, whom he succeeded as U.S. women's national team coordinator, at the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart.

Valeri Liukin has resigned from his position with a "heavy heart" as the women's national team coordinator for USA Gymnastics, he said Friday in a statement, saying the "present climate causes me, and more importantly, my family, far too much stress, difficulty and uncertainty."

Liukin, who replaced Marta Karolyi as the national team coordinator in the fall of 2016, submitted his resignation amidst the current fallout at USA Gymnastics, which has been accused of fostering an abusive culture.

Liukin wrote that he had been looking forward to turning around the program as the national team coordinator, but he felt he had to do what was best for his family.

"It is time to move on in a different direction, at least for now," Liukin wrote. "I wish the coaches and athletes continued success, and I stand ready to encourage and support all of them from a different vantage point."

Liukin is among the most respected figures in gymnastics. A native of Kazakhstan, he was a daredevil on the undefeatable Soviet men's team from the mid-1980s to 1991. He was the first gymnast to tumble a triple back on floor exercise — still the most difficult tumbling move done today — and he also has a move named after him on high bar, the full-twisting layout Tkatchev. He won four Olympic medals at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul: gold medals with the team and on high bar, and silver medals in the all-around and on parallel bars. In 1993, he moved from Russia to the United States with his wife, Moscow native and rhythmic world champion Anna Kochneva, and his baby daughter, Nastia Liukin. Nastia Liukin went on to become a legend in her own right, winning four world championship titles between 2005 and 2007 before winning the all-around gold and four other medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, tying the American gymnastics record of five medals in a single Olympics.

In 1994, Liukin co-founded World Olympic Gymnastics Academy in Plano, Texas, with former sports acrobatics world champion Yevgeny Marchenko. In addition to coaching multiple world champions and dozens of collegiate gymnasts, WOGA has produced three Olympic champions, including Nastia Liukin, who followed 2004 Olympic all-around champion Carly Patterson, and Madison Kocian, a member of the "Final Five" U.S. team that won a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, where she also won a silver medal on uneven bars.

Liukin left the ranks of personal coaches in 2013 when he became the elite developmental coordinator, overseeing the progress of the junior team. In September 2016, he was selected to succeed Marta Karolyi after the latter's retirement in August 2016. In 2017, the U.S. women continued to impress. First-year senior Morgan Hurd won the all-around title at the world championships last fall in Montreal.

Nastia Liukin, the only child of Valeri and Anna, recently posted a blog in which she revealed she had been subject to criticism by people who assumed she was continually supporting the actions of USA Gymnastics, apparently because of her family's association with the federation, and not the survivors of Nassar's abuse.

"This is an apology to anyone who had the perception I was not in complete support of my teammates and the women who have suffered at the hands of Larry Nassar," she wrote. "I continue to be in awe of my teammates and other women and the bravery it took for them to come forward with their own stories of Larry Nassar’s abuse. All week long I have been a witness to their testimonies live on my computer. They all inspire me with their courage. To compete on the biggest stage of our lives, while knowing the man on the floor with us was a monster, takes incredible fortitude and strength. His actions and assaults against my teammates, friends and other women are appalling and disgusting and I am so sorry they had to go through it alone."

Liukin, who wrote that she had faith in her father, added her voice calling for change for the next generation of American gymnasts.

"My hope is this is the beginning of positive change," she wrote. "I will do everything in my power to help our next generation never have to go through what my teammates went through. I, like so many others, believe many things could have been handled differently by USA Gymnastics. Many have written me asking why I continue to support them. Please believe me when I say I do NOT support the things I have read about or heard about. I do however support the future of gymnastics as a whole. I hope young women like Morgan (Hurd), Ragan (Smith), Riley (McCusker), Maile (O'Keefe), and so many others will one day feel safe within the sport, and can continue striving to achieve their own dreams. I am here for not just these young athletes but for all young women who want and deserve to feel and to be safe."

Liukin's resignation follows the exit of the entire board of USA Gymnastics, which was forced to resign by January 31 under threat of decertification by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Statement from Valeri Liukin

It is with a heavy heart that I resign as National Team Coordinator. I was truly looking forward to trying to turn this program around and bring success to our country and the gymnastics community. But the present climate causes me, and more importantly my family, far too much stress, difficulty and uncertainty.

I have loved gymnastics my entire life. Highlights were being fortunate enough to win my own Olympic medals and then coach my daughter to her Olympic Gold Medal — that was the proudest moment of my life.

It is time to move on in a different direction, at least for now. I wish the coaches and athletes continued success, and I stand ready to encourage and support all of them from a different vantage point.

Note: An earlier version of this article included allegations against Valeri Liukin without evidence they were related to his resignation and without seeking comment from him. IG and the author deeply regret the error.

Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 02 February 2018 09:38    PDF Print
'What If This Had Happened To You?' — Father Lunges at Nassar in Court
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

A father whose three daughters were sexual abuse victims of former doctor Larry Nassar attempted to attack the disgraced doctor in court on Friday as Nassar's second hearing continued in Eaton County, Michigan.

A father whose three daughters were sexual abuse victims of former doctor Larry Nassar attempted to attack the disgraced doctor in court on Friday as Nassar's second hearing continued in Eaton County, Michigan.

Randall Margraves, who stood up alongside his daughters as they gave their statements, was admonished by Judge Cunningham for swearing at Nassar.

"I would ask you as part of this sentencing grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon," asked Randall Margraves, who was wearing a union shirt representing IBEW Local 665, the Lansing union for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Judge Cunningham said that was not possible, and then Margraves asked for just one minute, which she again refused.

In a shocking moment, Margraves then rushed toward Nassar in the witness stand before Nassar's lawyer and the bailiffs tackled him to the ground.

"What if this had happened to you?" Margraves was heard asking the officers who arrested him and then hauled away from the courtroom in handcuffs.

A stunned Michigan Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis, the lead prosecutor in the case in both counties, turned around and strongly warned the gallery of survivors and their families, saying she did not want to see any more parents arrested.

"You cannot behave like this," Povilaitis said. "This is letting him have his power over us."

The first hearing in Ingham County revealed that at least four sets of sisters had been sexually abused by the disgraced former doctor. On Friday, it was revealed that all three Margraves sisters had been abused.

In November, Nassar pleaded guilty to sexual assault in a plea deal with the Attorney General and admitted sexually assaulting girls and women under the guise of "treatment" and that he had done it for his own sexual gratification.

However, a six-page letter of complaint he wrote during the first sentencing hearing was obtained by the Ingham County Sheriff and given to Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina. Before sentencing him to up to 175 years in prison, Aquilina revealed parts of the letter in court, revealing that he had written that he claimed to be innocent and that all the survivors accusing him had been brainwashed. Aquilina declined to read the entire letter or release it to the public; IG has learned it contained additional, highly disturbing remarks about certain survivors.

Nassar was also removed from the courtroom but after a delay, he returned and the sentencing hearing resumed.


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