Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles has joined fellow gymnasts McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Gabby Douglas by telling her story of abuse at the hands of imprisoned former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
Biles tweeted her story on Monday, accompanied by the “MeToo” hashtag, which survivors of abuse have used to tell their stories since late 2017.
Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison last December after pleading guilty to three counts of possession of child pornography. Dozens of athletes who were members of USA Gymnastics have come forward to tell their stories and detail how they were abused by the team doctor, who presented the abuse to his victims as “treatment.”
Details of Nassar’s abuse first emerged in September 2016, as part of an investigative report by the Indy Star, but garnered far more attention when Maroney came forward as part of the first wave of “#MeToo” testimonies in October 2017. She was joined by Raisman and Douglas, with Biles now joining her 2016 Rio Olympics teammates in revealing that she was abused by the former USA Gymnastics doctor.
Last week former USA gymnast Maggie Nichols identified herself as the first athlete to report sexual abuse from Nassar, which began in 2012, when she was 15 years old.
”I started to have back problems while at a National Team Camp at the Karolyi Ranch. This is when the changes in his medical treatments occurred,” Nichols wrote. “I remember he took me into the training room, closed the door and closed the blinds. At the time I thought this was kind of weird but figured it must be okay ... but then he started touching me in places I really didn’t think he should.”
USA Gymnastics has done its best to distance itself from the situation, and the statements that have been issued have not been satisfactory to Nassar’s victims. Raisman in particular has been vocal in her criticism of how USA Gymnastics has handled the abuse, saying they are “victim shaming” survivors of Nassar in the wake of Nichols coming forward.
.@USAGym STOP VICTIM SHAMING. Your statements are hurtful. If you did not believe that I & others were abused than why pressure & manipulate us? WE WERE MOLESTED BY A MONSTER U ENABLED 2 THRIVE FOR DECADES. You are 100% responsible. It was mandatory to get "treatment" by Nassar.— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) January 10, 2018
USA Gymnastics has not issued a statement following Biles’ announcement.