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University of Michigan reportedly missed chances to stop abusive doctor

A rather damning report has emerged involving the University of Michigan and disgraced former doctor Robert Anderson.

Anderson, who died in 2008, is accused of more than 800 instances of abuse of student-athletes spanning multiple decades. He was able to remain a top physician at the school through 2003 despite being fired in 1979 as Michigan’s director of health services after allegations of abuse.

And according to a report from the WilmerHale law firm earlier this afternoon, much of it could have been prevented.

Following a 14 month investigation and interviews with over 300 past victims of Anderson, the firm concluded that multiple University authority figures were aware of complaints and accusations, but failed to act.

“The WilmerHale Report confirms that the University of Michigan knew about Anderson’s sexual abuse conduct for decades and failed to take any appropriate measures to protect their students, athletes, and individuals against a sexual predator they had known about for forty years,” said attorney Parker Stinar, who represents Deluca and more than 100 other clients who say they were abused by Anderson.

“We also learned of more than a dozen additional instances in which Athletic Department personnel heard jokes or rumors about Dr. Anderson’s examinations, some of which highlighted Dr. Anderson’s propensity for performing sensitive examinations for no apparent medically appropriate reason,” the report says. “Yet no one in the Athletic Department appears to have recognized what they heard as indicative of abuse or initiated any inquiries into Dr. Anderson’s conduct.”

University president Mark Schlissel released the following statement:

“We will thoughtfully and diligently review and assess the report’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations,” university president Schlissel said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “[A]nd we will work to regain the trust of survivors and to assure that we foster a safe environment for our students, our employees, and our community.”

Early last year, University President Mark Schlissel issued a formal apology to anyone who was abused by Anderson, and also introduced a hotline for victims to call.

– – Quotes via ESPN Link – –

Written by Michael Whitaker

Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

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