Olympic Gymnastics Coach Banned for Life After Sex Abuse Allegations
Don Peters coached at SCATS in Huntington Beach.
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Former Olympic gymnastics coach Don Peters
After the allegations surfaced in September, Peters resigned his membership with USA Gymnastics and stepped down as coach and director at SCATS, the gymnastics club he built in Huntington Beach.
The 62-year old Peters, who led the 1984 U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team with all-around champion Mary Lou Retton has now been listed as "permanently ineligible" for membership by USA Gymnastics, the nation's governing body of the sport.
The action means he can no longer work or volunteer at more than 2,000 member clubs across the country.
The ban follows accusations of sexual abuse against Peters by former U.S. national team and SCATS member Doe Yamashiro and a second unnamed gymnast.
Yamashiro told the OC Register that Peters began fondling her in 1986, when she was 16 years old. She said Peters had sex with her when she was 17.
A second gymnast, who remained anonymous, told the Register that Peters had sex with her when she was 18.
She has reportedly been interviewed by a private investigator hired by USA Gymnastics.
And Linda McNamara, a former SCATS assistant director, said Peters confessed to her that he had sex with three teenage gymnasts, including Yamashiro and the second anonymous gymnast.
The alleged abuse took place in the 1980s, so the statue of limitations has expired for prosecuting Peters under California law.
Peters led the U.S. women's team to a record eight medals in the 1984 Olympics.
Two other U.S. gymnastics coaches, Doug Boger and Michael Zapp, were accused of abuse in the O.C. Register article.
They both worked most recently at ArtSports World gym in Colorado Springs, where Zapp was the owner.
Boger has been released from ArtSports. He was already banned by USA Gymnastics after being accused of sexual and physical abuse by at least a dozen former gymnasts at a gym in Pasadena.
Michael Zapp was convicted of second-degree sexual abuse for fondling the breasts of a 12-year-old gymnast in 1987. He has denied the allegations.
He has resigned as the owner of ArtSports and agreed to sell the gym.