U.S. Speedskating said it was not aware of Farrell's allegations until she made them to the media. The organization said Friday that, through a referral from the U.S. Olympic Committee's Safe Sport program, it has hired the Chicago-based law firm Sidley Austin LLP to investigate all accusations involving Gabel.
"U.S. Speedskating will not tolerate abuse of any kind and we intend to investigate these claims, and any others that arise, thoroughly," the organization said in a statement.
Gabel was chairman of the ISU's short track technical committee at the time of his resignation from the international governing body. He also stepped down from a panel that oversees the National Speedskating Hall of Fame, of which he is a member.
"Nearly two decades ago, I made personal mistakes and looking back on it now, I wish I had been more mature and made better choices," Gabel told the AP.
Meyer said the relationship with Gabel finally ended at the Lillehammer Olympics, where they both won medals.
"I was 18 by then. I wanted to be more open," she said. "I'm like, 'Who cares what people think? I'm old enough to make my own decisions. You're old enough to make your own decision.' But he wasn't willing to take that step. By then, I had matured enough and it was kind of like a light bulb turned on. I was like, 'Oh, my God, I've wasted the last three years of my life waiting for this opportunity to finally arrive when we could be more open with this. But he used me the last three years because he could.' I was disgusted and mortified and really (ticked) off that he didn't want me to come out with it."
Meyer said she's not sure if she will pursue criminal charges against Gabel, or if she even can because of the possible statute of limitations. But she hopes he receives a lifetime ban from U.S. Speedskating and that he's removed from the Milwaukee-based Hall of Fame.
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