LOS ANGELES — Former US Olympic gold medalist Sugar Ray Leonard says he was sexually assaulted by an ex-American Olympic team coach.
Leonard, who won a gold medal in the 1976 Montreal Games and went on to have a brilliant pro career, made the accusations in a new tell-all book “The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring”, US media reported.
The book is expected to come out in stores in June.
The 55-year-old Leonard said the abuse happened when he was a teenager and a young man.
Leonard said in one of the encounters, the coach talked to him about winning a gold medal.
“Before I knew it, he had unzipped my pants and put his hand, then mouth, on an area that has haunted me for life,” he said. “I didn’t scream. I didn’t look at him. I just opened the door and ran.”
He said the sexual assaults made it difficult for him to cope emotionally when he reached adulthood. Leonard declined to name the coach.
Leonard is considered one of the top professional boxers of all-time and was the first fighter to earn more than $100 million in purse money. He captured world titles in five weight classes.