Before McKayla and Gabby and Jordyn.
Before golden triumphs in London and Rio de Janeiro secured Team USA’s dynasty status in the Summer Olympic women’s marquee sport, Don Peters coached the groundbreaking U.S. women’s team to a record eight medals at the 1984 Olympic Games and a performance that signaled the beginning of the end of Eastern Bloc countries’ decades long dominance of women’s gymnastics and the rise of a new global power.
Peters for the past decade, however, has become best known not for Team USA’s Olympic history but for his role in a darker chapter in American gymnastics history.
Peters was banned from the sport by USA Gymnastics for sexual misconduct in 2011 following an Orange County Register investigation and this week Doe Yamashiro, a former U.S. national team member, filed a suit against him in Orange County Superior Court that threatens to further tarnish his reputation.
Yamashiro alleges Peters repeatedly sexually abused her as a teenager in the 1980s. She also targets SCATS, the Huntington Beach and USA Gymnastics-member club Peters turned into an international powerhouse producing a string of Olympians and national champions, in the suit that alleges sexual assault, battery, and harassment, and negligent supervision, hiring/retention, to warn, train or educate, and gender violence, and fraud, according to a copy of the suit obtained by the Southern California News Group.