Olympic-swimmer-turned-sportscaster Donna deVarona has filed a multimillion-dollar age- and sex-discrimination lawsuit against ABC Sports, alleging that she lost her $150,000 a year job in 1998 because the network believed she had gotten too old to appeal to men ages 18 to 39. DeVarona, 52, filed her suit in federal court in Manhattan, seeking more than $50 million in compensatory and punitive damages. She had worked for Disney-owned ABC and ESPN off and on and in various capacities since 1965, the year after she won two gold medals in the Tokyo Olympics. ABC Sports said her role had been decreasing, particularly due to the network's losing the Olympics, and asserted that she had been treated fairly. Age and gender claims have become an increasing threat for broadcasters. Last year, Hartford anchor Janet Peckinpaugh won a multimillion-dollar verdict against Post-Newsweek stations for a gender claim, settled out of court while the case was being appealed.
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