Ex-University of Michigan gymnast details sexual assaults by doctor
DETROIT (AP) — A former gymnast at the University of Michigan said he tried to talk to his coach about being assaulted by a campus doctor during a routine physical in 1969 but was brushed off with a sneering smile that signaled “we’re changing the subject.”
Ward Black, a member of the 1970 national championship team, spoke exclusively to The Associated Press about being molested by Robert Anderson. He’s the latest to reveal that university coaches decades ago apparently were aware of allegations about the doctor, a native of L’Anse, but didn’t take the complaints higher.
“Nobody wanted Dr. Anderson to look at you, but you had no choice,” Black said Thursday. “He was the athletic department’s team doctor.”
Black, 68, is suing the university and has been interviewed by a law firm that was hired by the school to investigate complaints, which now exceed 300.
Anderson worked at Michigan from the mid-1960s through 2003. He died in 2008. The university has said it believes he assaulted athletes, and it wants to compensate victims outside court.
During his time as a gymnast, Black said he was molested during four annual physicals and two visits for toe and ankle injuries. He said Anderson insisted on checking his prostate before addressing injuries.
Black said he knew teammates as well as other Michigan athletes were assaulted.