U.S. Rowing Rescinds Ted Nash’s Honors After Abuse Investigation

U.S. Rowing Rescinds Ted Nash’s Honors After Abuse Investigation

A 16-month investigation made public on Tuesday determined that child sexual abuse accusations against Ted Nash, a two-time Olympic medalist and nine-time Olympic coach for the United States who had mythic status in his sport over decades, were credible and that his main accuser had no motive to lie about the abuse.

The 154-page report by the law firm Shearman & Sterling, which U.S. Rowing, the sport’s governing body in the United States, asked to examine claims against Mr. Nash, found that Jennifer Fox, now 64 and a filmmaker who lives in Manhattan, was believable when she said that Mr. Nash had groomed her for a sexual relationship and sexually assaulted her multiple times more than 50 years ago. She was 13 then and he was her 40-year-old running coach.

The abuse, which lasted about a year, ended in 1973, said Ms. Fox, whose 2018 film “The Tale” depicted her memories of the abuse but did not name Mr. Nash. He died at 88 in 2021.

Jan Nash, his widow, did not immediately respond to voice messages and texts seeking comment. Last year, she told The New York Times that she was shocked and saddened by the accusations and said that “it’s just not fair” for Ms. Fox to name Ted now that he can’t defend himself.

The report specifically stated that the law firm was not tasked with finding evidence that met any legal standard of proof for the abuse. But after the firm interviewed approximately 47 witnesses who interacted with Mr. Nash or Ms. Fox, it said its inquiry corroborated many of her allegations against him. Also, the investigation did not find evidence that “expressly refutes” her accusations or a motive for her to lie about the abuse, the report said.

The accusations against Mr. Nash, who had served as a father figure to many of his athletes over the years, both on and off the water, were made public in 2023 when Ms. Fox told her story to The New York Times.

Her claims shook the sport and led a former elite female rower to come forward to the law firm to describe a sexual advance by Mr. Nash when he coached her in more recent years. She was over 18 and he was more than 35 years her senior, the report said, when Mr. Nash visited her apartment under the guise of bringing her some home décor. He grabbed her by the neck and tried to kiss her, the report said.

On Tuesday, as a result of the law firm’s findings, U.S. Rowing rescinded the honors it awarded him, including the 2005 Man of the Year and its highest honor, the Medal of Honor, given to him in 2013 for “conspicuous service” and “extraordinary feats” in the sport.

Ms. Fox said in a telephone interview on Tuesday that the report and U.S. Rowing’s subsequent actions had given her a sense of closure. It’s what she had hoped for, she said, because it sends a strong messages to people who commit sex crimes against children.

“Even if we don’t get you in life, we will get you in death,” she said, referring to Mr. Nash’s death three years ago. “Your legacy can be ruined.”

A statement on U.S. Rowing’s website said: “While we understand that this outcome may be difficult for some members of our community, our commitment to a safe environment, free of abuse for the rowing community, is unwavering.”

The future of Mr. Nash’s Olympic medals — a gold in 1960 and a bronze in 1964 — remains uncertain. The International Olympic Committee, which is based in Switzerland, did not respond to an email requesting clarification.

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