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Nothstein calls sexual misconduct reports ’smears' as election approaches

Published August 20, 2018

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (BRAIN) — Former world champion cyclist Marty Nothstein said investigations for sexual misconduct stem from an anonymous "smear" that was sent to authorities soon after he announced he was running for U.S. Congress. 

Nothstein is the GOP nominee to fill the newly redistricted open 7th House district in Pennsylvania. He faces Democrat Susan Wild in the general election.

Last week, the Allentown Morning Call reported that the Lehigh Valley Velodrome, where Nothstein is executive director, placed him on leave as authorities investigated a sexual misconduct allegation. The allegation alleged that the misconduct took place about 18 years ago, the year Nothstein won an Olympic gold medal.

Nothstein said he was informed on Feb. 9 that SafeSport, a U.S. Olympic Committee organization that investigates misconduct allegations against athletes, had received an anonymous tip about the alleged misconduct. 

Nothstein said days after he learned of the SafeSport investigation, an anonymous person contacted Upper Macungie Township Police and made the same allegation, giving the same details.

"An anonymous tipster planted a clearly false allegation in hopes of triggering an investigation," he said in a release. "Tipsters then turned around and planted a story with the media that I was under investigation. These days, that's all it takes to smear someone."

"The accusation is false. There are no accusers in this case. The women identified to investigators deny that any misconduct occurred," he said. 

According to Nothstein, the tipster named women who, the tipster said, had been victims of the misconduct. Nothstein said the women named have denied the allegations in signed affidavits. 

"This anonymous smear was designed to destroy my livelihood, my candidacy, and my reputation. I'm not going to allow this to happen. It has affected my livelihood. Disrupted my campaign. And caused pain and worry in my family." he said. 

"I want to say to the voters of this district: these are false accusations, planted just days after I began my candidacy. The presumed 'victims' themselves deny such a thing happened. It's time to end this sort of politics. We should be talking about policy, not false rumors."

Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin's office released a statement last week saying, "An investigation into an allegation pertaining to Mr. Nothstein was conducted by the Upper Macungie Township Police Department and reviewed by this office. The allegation was found to be meritless, and the matter was closed." Martin endorsed Nothstein last year in a primary race in the PA-15 district. Nothstein eventually found himself running in the 7th district after a court-ordered redistricting in Pennsylvania. It's not clear whether Martin has endorsed Nothstein in the new district. 

The Morning Call hosted a video of Nothstein's Friday news conference on its Facebook page. 

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