Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

Olympian Aly Raisman Talks Sexual Abuse

U.S. Women's Gymnastic Team Aly Raisman Gabby Douglas Jordyn Wieber Mc Kayla Maroney Kyla Ross Paul Drinkwater NBC
Kristopher Love | 13 November, 2017, 19:23

As we reported last week, the Olympian opened up about the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of USA Gymnastics' longtime team physician, Larry Nassar. In a tell-all interview with 60 Minutes, the pro gymnast confessed that she was "in denial" for a long time about her experience.

The six-time Olympic medalist was the U.S. captain for both the 2012 and 2016 Games, leading her team to gold in the all-around competition both times.

"I was just really innocent", Raisman said during the broadcast last night. "I see these young girls that come up to me, and they ask for pictures or autographs, whatever it is ..." This admission comes a month after her Fierce Five teammate, McKayla Maroney, admitted she was abused by the same doctor for many years, beginning when she was only 13.

According to the Lansing State Journal, which is part of the USA TODAY Network, more than 140 women have alleged sexual abuse by Nassar, under the guise of medical treatment.

The athlete previously criticized USA Gymnastics in an interview with The Guardian back in August. He was sacked by USA Gymnastics in the summer of 2015, but the federation waited five weeks before alerting the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist said she was nervous to come forward at first because she was afraid of being victim-shamed, but in the end, "I knew it was the right thing". "The truth was he never made my injuries feel any better, but I always obeyed because he had a reputation for being the best doctor".

She also says she's angry especially during the 60 minutes interview where Raisman expresses her frustration when asked why Larry Nassar's accusers chose not to speak up sooner.

"It's important to speak up for something and it's right". That's what bothers me. "I didn't know what sexual abuse really was, and I think that needs to be communicated to all of these athletes, no matter the age".

'"And I don't think he does it on goal because, you know, I think he cares about me"'. At the time, she said, "I was making excuses for him, which I realized later, that's often what people do when they're manipulated".

She was just 15 at the time.

"People should know that this is not just happening in Hollywood", Maroney wrote. "I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there were unnecessary and disgusting"'.

Nassar is now behind bars in a MI prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography in July.

Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, in a court photo taken June 23, 2017, is now in jail on charges he sexually abused athletes he treated. Perry starts December 1.

"It doesn't matter if you're the Olympic champion or you're an 8-year-old that goes to gymnastics in OH, or wherever you are in the United States", she told USA Today and the AP.

USA Gymnastics has adopted all 70 recommendations made by Daniels and is in the process of implementing them. He has already been charged with 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Raisman is by far the most elite athlete to go public with allegations of abuse against Nassar, who was sacked by USA Gymnastics in 2015 after almost three decades with the organization.

USA Gymnastics has said it is taking steps toward creating a safer environment for its athletes.

'We want to work with Aly and all interested athletes to keep athletes safe'.