Gymnastics News Network
By Terri Laymon
Recently GNN reported that a victim, Jane Doe, brought suit against former club owner and head coach, Mike West, for sexual abuse that happen during the 1980’s and 1990’s. We also noted that West’s assistant coach, Sam Mc Bride, witnessing the abuse taking place, yet remained silent as court documentation states, ’West managed to talk McBride out of doing anything, relying on their long friendship as well as West’s promise never to do anything like it again.’
McBride was on suspension from coaching at Naydenov Gymnastics in Vancouver, Washington, pending an investigation and according to sources, Naydenov’s gym initially said that they would not release McBride from his position unless USA Gymnastics forces the owners, Kevin & Ivanka Jenkins, to take action. However, through recent event, it appears as though Mc Bride has been released from his coaching position with Naydenov’s Gym.
McBride was not the only coach in question at West’s Gym. GNN has recently learned that Rob Farley, who use to work for West even before McBride began coaching there, also knew of the abuse that was happening inside and outside of the gym.
A former gymnast at West Gymnastics who wishes to remain anonymous, also tells of the physical abuse that she endured during her many years of training. She noted that though she was not one West sexually abused, he did snap bras on the girls, blacked-out the windows so parents could not see in, make the girls run outside in the middle of summer all while giving them salt tablets for the heat, lock them in the locker room with himself and make them do sit-ups while poking them in the chest, and touched inappropriate body parts while coaching…frequently.
She spent years trying to get someone – anyone to simply listen to her and help her with all the horrible things that were happening. Looking back her mother remorsefully tells her that “It was just the culture” and reporting sexual or physical abuse was an unheard act.
Reports indicated that Farley had an extremely close friendship with West and that Farley knew everything West was doing. This would certainly mean that yet another coach knew of the abuse taking place and failed to alert the proper authorities.
How many young girls could have been saved a horrific life-long torture if someone would have just spoken up?
Today is different. Today we need to speak up and stop the mental, physical, and sexual abuse of our young athletes. GNN has created a “tip line” for any to call at any time. We will research the claim and report the abuse and the abuser.
GNN TIP LINE:
We also have resources available to those that need to reach out and seek extra help. Courtney Keihl, Executive Director and Founder A.C.H.E. (Abused Children Heard Everywhere), is willing to speak with anyone who needs her help.
Courtney Kiehl, Esq.
A.C.H.E. Foundation | Co-Founder
+1 (510) 552-7508
Our goal is to help make this sport fun and safe!
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