Coach banned for sex abuse

Posted: November 17, 2011

A FORMER Olympic gymnastics coach accused of sexually abusing two athletes in the 1980s has been banned for life by USA Gymnastics and his place in the federation's Hall of Fame revoked.

Don Peters, head coach of the 1984 U.S. women's Olympic team, was declared "permanently ineligible" after a disciplinary hearing by USA Gymnastics last week. Peters already has resigned from his coaching and director positions at his SCATS gym in Huntington Beach, Calif., and his ban will be published in USA Gymnastics' magazine and on its website.

Two former gymnasts told the Orange County Register that Peters sexually abused them in the 1980s, when they were teenagers. In a Register story on Sept. 25, Doe Yamashiro, a former U.S. national team and SCATS member, said Peters began fondling her in 1986, when she was 16, and had sexual intercourse with her when she was 17. A second woman, who asked that her name not be used, told the Register that Peters had sex with her in 1985 when she was 18.

The alleged abuse can't be prosecuted under California law because the statute of limitation has expired.

Peters was one of the country's top coaches in the 1980s. He was head coach of the U.S. team at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, where the Americans won eight medals, including Mary Lou Retton's gold in the all-around.

In other Olympic news:

* Britain's lifetime Olympic ban for drug cheats will be examined by sport's top court after the World Anti-Doping Agency challenged the rule. The British Olympic Association's bylaw has come under pressure since the Court of Arbitration for Sport threw out an IOC rule barring athletes who have received drug bans of more than 6 months from competing in the next Olympics.

Sport Stops * 

Tiger Woods won't be starting his 2012 season at Torrey Pines. Instead of his traditional PGA Tour start in San Diego, Woods has agreed to play in a tournament in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Woods will play in the Jan. 26-29 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship along with current No. 1 Luke Donald and defending champion Martin Kaymer, Abu Dhabi organizers said. The move is somewhat surprising for Woods, taking appearance money for the European Tour event instead of playing what he considers one of his favorite PGA Tour courses.

* Coach Eddie O'Sullivan ended his ties to the U.S. rugby team.

* FIFA president Sepp Blatter created a firestorm in England when he downplayed the problem of racist abuse among players and said players involved in such spats should settle the issue with a handshake. In England, two top players are being investigated for racially insulting opponents during recent Premier League games. Blatter quickly issued a statement saying he had been "misunderstood."

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