gymnastics

Biles opens up on team doctor’s sexual abuse

US super gymnast joins issue on sentenced Larry Nassar’s exploits

IANS
13:24 January 16, 2018
Dr. Larry Nassar

New York: Gymnast Simone Biles, a four-time Olympic champion from the United States, has said that she was also sexually abused by Larry Nassar, a former US gymnastics team doctor who was sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges.

“I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” Biles, a 20-year-old gymnast who won four gold medals and a bronze in the 2016 Rio Olympics, wrote on her Twitter account on Monday, reports Efe.

“Most of you know me as a happy, giggly and energetic girl, but lately I have felt broken and the more I try to put off the voice in my head, the louder it screams, I’m not afraid to tell my story anymore,” Biles wrote.

“It is not normal to receive any type of treatment from a trusted team physician and refer to it horrifyingly as the ‘special treatment’,” Biles quoted.

Three other US Olympic gymnasts have accused Nassar of sexual abuses, including Gabby Douglas, who won gold with Biles in the 2016 Rio Olympics, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman, who was the first to reveal Nassar’s behaviours.

“This behaviour is completely unacceptable, disgusting and abusive, especially coming from someone whom I was told to trust,” Biles said.

“For too long I’ve asked myself, ‘Was I too naive? Was it my fault?’, “ Biles continued but added that “I now know the answer to those questions: No. No, it was not my fault. No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG and others.

“It is impossible to relive these experiences and it breaks my heart even more to think that as I work towards my dream of competing in Tokyo 2020, I will have to continually return to the same training facility where I was abused,” she explained.

Federal Judge Janet T. Neff sentenced Larry Nassar on December 7, 2017 to the maximum penalty of 60 years in prison on three child pornography charges.

Judge Neff said that her sentence was based on the grave danger and threat that Nassar poses to children. The judge’s verdict could automatically be a life imprisonment for Nassar, who is already 54 years old and currently has another 10 criminal charges pending against him, for which he already pleaded guilty last November.

Nassar also pleaded guilty in July 2017 to charges of obtaining and possessing child pornography and attempting to destroy evidence.

In November 2017, Nassar admitted before the court that the treatment he was performing on athletes was not a legitimate medical procedure.

—IANS