NewsCovering Colorado


USA Diving sued over athlete abuse

Posted at 7:38 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 11:45:59-04
Diving coach Johel Ramirez Suarez was arrested in November 2017 on 32 counts of alleged sexual assault against a minor.

INDIANAPOLIS – Two women who were training to be Olympic divers have filed class action lawsuits in Indiana against USA Diving. The women allege that the national governing body knew that abuse by its coaches was occurring yet failed to protect its athletes.

The most recent suit filed was Sunday and accuses the owner of a private training facility named RipFest of covering up for its coach Johel Ramirez Suarez.

He was arrested on 32 counts of child sex abuse last November and ultimately pleaded guilty to three counts of battery.

RipFest told reporter Rich Nye at Indianapolis NBC affiliate station WTHR that they immediately removed Ramirez from their program last year when they learned about the allegations.

“Johel Ramirez’s conduct is completely unacceptable and RipFest Diving has zero tolerance for this type of behavior,” the statement reads.

The other suit was filed in July and accused form Ohio State University Diving Club coach Will Bohonyi of assaulting another diver.

Neither lawsuit names the US Olympic Committee as a defendant. However, they accuse the organization of systematically prioritizing “medals and money” above the safety of Team USA athletes.

“The USOC has decided to sacrifice the safety and welfare of its athletes for the trappings of fame and fortune that accrue to its executives,” the lawsuit declares.

News 5 reached out to leaders at the USOC who declined to comment.