Former Penn State fencing coach Emmanuil G. Kaidanov filed a lawsuit Thursday against the university, alleging he was illegally fired last year.

Kaidanov, who won 12 national championships in his 31 years at Penn State, filed the suit Thursday in U.S. Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania, claiming Penn State fired him Aug. 20, 2013, for alleged retaliation against an unidentified athletics department staff member who reported to Penn State police a perceived drug offense by a female fencer.

The alleged offense by the unidentified fencer was investigated by university police and proved to be false, the lawsuit states. Penn State, athletic director Dave Joyner and athletics integrity officer Julie Del Giorno are named as defendants. Kaidanov is seeking $3 million in damages and a jury trial, according to the lawsuit.

Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said the university would not comment about ongoing litigation.