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Stateside Podcast: Youth hockey doctor charged with sexual abuse

Zvi Levran, during a court appearance.
Katie Strang
Zvi Levran, during a court appearance.

Twelve people have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct by Dr. Zvi Levran, a urologist who provided medical services to a number of high school and youth all-star hockey teams in Michigan and Minnesota.

Reporter Katie Strang with The Athletic broke the news of the charges against Levran, and published an in-depth piece about the allegations this week. Levran faces 27 counts of criminal sexual conduct. Nine of the 12 cases involve people who Levran knew through the hockey community.

"When we go to a doctor, we are inherently vulnerable because there’s so much that we don’t know," Katie Strang said. "And we’re relying on both their knowledge and analysis and expertise, but also our trust in them that they have our best interest in mind.”

The abuse of power within sports teams in Michigan is not a new story. Former Michigan State University physician Larry Nassar is currently serving a de facto life sentence after being convicted of molesting hundreds of young gymnasts. More than a thousand former University of Michigan athletes allege that they were sexually assaulted by the now-deceased university physician Robert Anderson.

Within the "old-school" culture of hockey, Strang said, it can be hard for people to come forward about misconduct.

"I've long felt that, you know, there is a real fetishization of stoicism in hockey—in gritting through injury and toughing things out and not being a distraction," she explained. "And I do think that also is an important component in, you know, abuse, power unchecked, and cultures of fear or silence."

On the Stateside podcast, we talked to Katie Strang about the allegations against Zvi Levran, and how it ties into other instances of physician misconduct.


Katie Strang, reporter with The Athletic


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Music in this episode byBlue Dot Sessions.

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April Van Buren is a producer for <i>Stateside</i>. She produces interviews for air as well as web and social media content for the show.
Rachel Ishikawa joined Michigan Public in 2020 as a podcast producer. She produced Kids These Days, a limited-run series that launched in the summer of 2020.