Aly Raisman has launched a withering attack on the US Olympic Committee as the sentence hearing for former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar continues in a Michigan courtroom.
Nassar has admitted to sexually abusing young gymnasts in his care. More than 100 girls and women – including Raisman and her fellow Olympic champions Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney – have come forward to say they are survivors of his crimes. On Monday, USA Gymnastics announced three of its board members had resigned over the scandal. Raisman has repeatedly criticised USA Gymnastics’ handling of Nassar’s case but on Monday night she also called out the USOC for taking credit for the resignations.
“Over the weekend, the USOC released a statement shamelessly taking credit for a few USAG resignations (note: not fired), as though they’re addressing this problem,” Raisman wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. But they are still not acknowledging its role in this mess. ZERO accountability. It’s like none of us were ever abused!”
Raisman also said the USOC had acted too slowly when allegations against Nassar broke in the media. “The Indy Star broke on August 4, 2016 after survivors courageously came forward sharing stories of sexual abuse and alleging organizational mishandling,” Raisman wrote. “The next day, the USOC said they wouldn’t investigate (and even praised USAG’s work in the area of sexual abuse).
“For the past week, survivors came forward to courageously face a perpetrator of evil and to share their painful stories. Many of them, myself included, claim the USOC is also at fault. Was the USOC there to ‘focus on supporting the brave survivors’? No. Did they issue any statement then? Crickets …”
Raisman went on to call for an independent investigation of Nassar’s case. USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where Nassar was a faculty member, have also been accused of enabling the abuse.
On Tuesday, testimonies from Nassar’s former patients continued. Isabell Hutchins said Nassar had overlooked a broken leg she had suffered while competing as a gymnast and instead molested her during late-night consultations at his home. “You didn’t heal me. You only hurt me,” Hutchins told Nassar.
Last week Raisman confronted Nassar when she gave testimony of her own. “Adult after adult protected you,” Raisman said on Friday, addressing her comments directly to Nassar. “How do you sleep at night? You are the person they had ‘take the lead on athlete care.’ I cringe to think your influence remains in the policies they [USA Gymnastics] claim will make athletes safe.
“I will not rest until every last trace of the influence you had on this sport has been destroyed like the cancer it is.”
Nassar faces up to 125 years in jail after admitting sexually abusing women and girls in his care. He has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison in a separate case, regarding child abuse images.