Ex-gymnast: Sex abuse by doctor was ‘open secret’


ANN ARBOR, Michigan (AP) — A University of Michigan gymnast on the school’s 1970 national championship team says it was “an open secret” that a team doctor sexually abused athletes at the school.

Ward Black is the most recent former Michigan athlete to publicly accuse the late Dr. Robert Anderson of assault. He’s suing U-M and has been interviewed by a law firm hired by the school to investigate complaints.

“The trouble with what he did was that every athlete knew when they walked in to see him what he was going to do. Because it was an open secret what was going to happen,” the 68-year-old Black told The Associated Press Thursday in a videoconferencing interview from his home in Las Vegas.

Anderson worked at the Ann Arbor university from the mid-1960s through 2003. He died in 2008. Campus police began investigating in 2018 after a former athlete said he was sexually abused in the early 1970s.  

“If there’s other guys out there that have really been damaged one way or another, then that should be made clear that Michigan is responsible for that,” Black said.

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