Nike athlete Simone Biles made a statement yesterday via social media accusing former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse. Biles joins a list of 140 women who have made sexual abuse claims against him, including fellow team USA gymnast and Reebok athlete Aly Raisman, who came forward in November.
“I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” she said in her statement, which she posted to Twitter along with the hashtag #MeToo.
She continued, “It is not normal to receive any type of treatment from a trusted team physician and refer to it horrifyingly as the ‘special’ treatment…No, it was not my fault. No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG, and others.”
Three members of the “Fierce Five” team, from the 2012 gymnastics — McKayla Maroney, Raisman and Gabby Douglas — have all come forward to speak out against Nassar in the previous months. Raisman took to the social platform to extend her support to Biles moments after her disclosure on Monday.
Biles’ statement yesterday came just one day before Nassar was set to appear at a weeklong sentencing hearing. Though none of the “Fierce Five” team members are expected to testify, close to 100 other victims will, including 2000 Olympian Jamie Dantzscher.
54-year-old Nassar, a former Michigan State University employee, has already pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and has been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges alone. The state has asked for an additional 40 to 125 years for the sexual abuse charges.
While Nassar withstands trial over the next four days, questions remain as to if and how Michigan State University — where Nassar worked from 1997 to 2016 as an associate professor – and USA Gymnastics will be held accountable.
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