Heidi Gilbert v USA Taekwondo
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The potential for and actuality of sexual abuse of young athletes is rampant as awareness increases of abuses in swimming, wrestling, weightlifting, figure skating, and numerous other sports. In all, Washington Post reports that over 290 coaches and officials in Olympic sports have been implicated in sexual abuse of the athletes in their charge. Additionally, the abuse is accompanied by a consistent barrage of cover-ups protecting the assailants with little if any regard for the victims.
A particularly heinous example is brought out in a disturbing lawsuit filed by over 50 women against two of taekwondo’s most celebrated athletes, Steven and Jean Lopez, who are accused of rape, forced labor and sex trafficking of numerous young taekwondo athletes, many of them minors between 1997 and 2018.