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Written by Amanda Turner    Monday, 22 January 2018 19:33    PDF Print
USAG Suspends Coach Geddert After Abuse Allegations
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



USA Gymnastics has suspended the professional membership of 2012 Olympic head coach John Geddert after multiple allegations of abuse emerged in the past week in association with the sentencing hearing of disgraced former doctor Larry Nassar.

USA Gymnastics has suspended the professional membership of 2012 Olympic head coach John Geddert after multiple allegations of abuse emerged in the past week in association with the sentencing hearing of disgraced former doctor Larry Nassar.

"John Geddert has been suspended under the interim measures provisions of Section 10.5 of USA Gymnastics' Bylaws," USA Gymnastics said in a statement Monday. "USA Gymnastics is unable to comment further as this is a pending matter."

Although the decision to suspend Geddert had already been leaked by Friday, USA Gymnastics did not respond to IG's request for comment or make a public statement until Monday. It is unknown when the decision was made.


John Geddert and Jordyn Wieber at the 2011 Worlds in Tokyo

USA Gymnastics had received reports of Geddert over the years but apparently declined to take action, although it is unknown if there was already an investigation in place since the Nassar scandal hit. Geddert and his gym, Geddert's Twistars USA, is being sued amid allegations he ignored complaints about Nassar sexually assaulting gymnasts for nearly 20 years. Geddert, whose association with Nassar dates to 1986 and his previous club Great Lakes Gymnastics, has denied knowledge of Nassar's abuse.

In the last week, national and Michigan media have reported on abusive treatment allegedly perpetrated by Geddert against his gymnasts, including assaults reported to the police. In some instances, Nassar intervened to protect Geddert and convince the family not to make reports. In public statements in Nassar's sentencing hearing, many of the survivors of Nassar's sexual abuse who attended Twistars say they trusted Nassar implicitly because of his seemingly warm and protective stance toward them in contrast to the physical and mental cruelty they allege that Geddert forced them to endure in the gym.

Most notably, ESPN's Outside the Lines included Geddert, the 2012 U.S. Elite National Coach of the Year, on its list of "enablers" of Nassar in the worst case of sexual abuse in sports history.

On Monday, former national team member Kamerin Moore spoke in court and described how Nassar used her hatred of her coaches and the pain she suffered after her father's suicide to groom her to trust him. only to abuse her instead. She also revealed that Nassar also sexually assaulted her brother under, also under the guise of treatment for his shoulder injury, that can only be described as sadomasochistic.

This past weekend, Geddert accompanied his team to the 2018 Sand Dollar/Whitlow Invitational in Orlando, Florida, and posted on Facebook about how proud he was of Twistars' performance and focus. However, according to people who also attended the event, Geddert was not on the floor with his team but watched the competition from the stands.

A native of Alpena, Michigan, Geddert competed on the gymnastics team for Central Michigan University, graduating with a degree in physical education. He moved to Rockville, Maryland, in 1980 to begin coaching under Gary Anderson at the MarVaTeens club. He returned to Michigan to coach at the Great Lakes Gymnastics Club in Lansing, where he became close friends with Nassar. His first elite gymnast, Katie Teft, qualified to the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials. That year Geddert and his wife, Kathryn Geddert, left to form their own club, Gedderts' Twistars USA Gymnastics Club, in Dimondale, and then opened a second location in DeWitt. Geddert consistently praised and promoted Nassar's association with his club, both on his blog and in the coaching materials he sold through his own website, thegymnasticscoach.com.

Geddert's most prominent gymnast was 2011 world champion Jordyn Wieber, who was a member of the "Fierce Five" gold medal-winning team at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. On Friday, Wieber made a surprise appearance at the Michigan courtroom to share her story of abuse for the first time, and spoke of the mental anguish she has suffered as she realized that the doctor she entrusted to treat her major injuries — a torn hamstring in 2010 and stress fracture in her leg in 2012 — was likely not treating those injuries as she claimed. Wieber, who began gymnastics at Twistars in 1999, moved to California after the Olympics and recently graduated from UCLA, where she was the volunteer coach for the UCLA Bruins. She officially retired from gymnastics in 2015.

If Geddert is placed on USAG's list of permanently ineligible members, he will be the fourth U.S. Olympic coach on the list, along with women's coaches Vannie Edwards and Don Peters, and men's coach Jon Valdez. Peters was also head coach of the U.S. Olympic women's team in 1984.

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Monday, 22 January 2018 12:09    PDF Print
Three Resign from USA Gymnastics Board
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

USA Gymnastics Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder and Treasurer Bitsy Kelley have resigned effective Monday, more than 16 months into sexual abuse scandal that has crippled the sports governing body.

The remaining members of the board will choose an interim chairperson to lead the board until a permament is named, USA Gymnastics said in a statement.

Along with former president and CEO Steve Penny, the three are the only major members of USA Gymnastics to resign since the scandal broke in the summer of 2016 by The Indianapolis Star's investigative series into the organization's handling of sexual abuse over the decades. The scandal turned into tragedy with the revelation that the former team doctor Larry Nassar had sexually abused hundreds if not thousands of gymnasts, athletes and other members of the community for three decades.

The sentencing hearing of Nassar, who pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual assault in two Michigan counties last November, began last Tuesday in Ingham County. He agreed to allow anyone who had filed a complaint against him to deliver a victim impact statement at the hearing, resulting in a parade of survivors and their families sharing their stories of pain and devastation caused by his sexual abuse. Many also spoke out against the organizations and individuals who protected, promoted and enabled Nassar for decades. According to complaints filed in federal court, Michigan State University was notified that Nassar was assaulting girls as early as 1997 and USA Gymnastics was aware of as early as 1998. Both organizations have denied they had any knowledge, even though MSU did its own investigation of Nassar in 2014 and cleared him of any wrongdoing.

USA Gymnastics' leadership has been criticized throughout the scandal for its inaction, "hurtful" and dubious statements, and failure to take any responsibility for its role in the tragedy, particularly that it let Nassar publicly resign in September 2015 but never notified his employer, Michigan State University, or Twistars' Club in Michigan, where he continued to sexually abuse at least 19 more girls and women for one year. The board strongly backed Penny, issuing a letter of support for him months before a letter of apology to the victims. Penny resigned in March 2017 under pressure from the United States Olympic Committee and was given a massive financial payout by the board, with the amount he received never confirmed by the USA Gymnastics. The rumored size of Penny's payout has floated between $1 to $6 million. USA Gymnastics has never set up a fund to help the survivors.

USA Gymnastics has also never reached out to contact any of the survivors nor contacted other national team members or Olympians to see if they had been abused. Olympians Jamie Dantzscher — the first gymnast to file a lawsuit against USAG — McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles have all come forward as survivors of Nassar's abuse. Maggie Nichols revealed earlier this month that she was the first gymnast to report Nassar's abuse in June 2015, after her coach overheard her, Raisman and another gymnast discussing Nassar's "treatments."

USA Gymnastics did not notify any law enforcement for five weeks, and issued a statement that Nichols' and Raisman's statements did not provide any credible allegations of abuse, which prompted outrage from Raisman and others. Despite this astonishing statement, USA Gymnastics has also claimed that Nichols' statement led to Nassar's conviction for sexual assaults in Michigan, which is contrary to known facts in the case. USA Gymnastics have also attempted to avoid liability in the lawsuit by filing a motion to dismiss partly by taking credit for Nassar's conviction by reporting him to the FBI in July 2015, even though the FBI never took any action and had no role in his arrest and subsequent guilty pleas. The FBI has refused comment on why it failed to investigate Nassar or release a report on any action it did take. Nichols' family has confirmed they did not hear from the FBI until July 2016, when she was interviewed shortly before the U.S. Olympic Trials.

"USA Gymnastics thanks Paul Parilla, Jay Binder and Bitsy Kelley for their many years of service to this organization," said Kerry Perry, who took over as president and CEO of USAG in December. "We support their decisions to resign at this time. We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization. As the board identifies its next chair and fills the vacant board positions, we remain focused on working every day to ensure that our culture, policies and actions reflect our commitment to those we serve."

Despite knowledge that many national team members had been sexually abused by Nassar at the Karolyi ranch — and more than 15 years of criticism of the abusive training environment there — USA Gymnastics negotiated to would purchase the ranch as its permanent national training center in July 2016, following Marta Karolyi's retirement that year. Following the revelations about Nassar, USAG announced it would not purchase the ranch, but took no action to find an alternative training center. As of December, its leaderships only actions were discussing plans to solicit Requests for Proposal (RFP) for a new training center. Last week, after Biles revealed she was also abused by Nassar and was traumatized that she was forced to return there for upcoming camps, it caused massive public backlash against USAG. On Thursday, USAG announced it was terminating its least with the ranch, although a junior developmental camp was in process there.

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 19 January 2018 08:05    PDF Print
Wieber, Too: Michigan Gymnast Confronts Nassar as Fourth Member of 'Fierce Five' to Suffer Sexual Abus
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



World and Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber made a stunning appearance Friday morning in the sentencing hearing of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar entered its fourth day in an Ingham County, Michigan courtroom. Pictured: A disappointed Jordyn Wieber cries following the qualification competition at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where she was suffering from a stress fracture in her right leg and did not advance to the all-around final.

World and Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber made a stunning appearance Friday morning in the courtroom as the sentencing hearing of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar entered its fourth day in Lansing, Michigan. Wieber, who grew up in nearby DeWitt, is the fourth member of the "Fierce Five," the 2012 U.S. Olympic gold medal-winning squad, to come forward as a survivor of depraved sexual abuse committed at the hands of the once trusted team doctor.

With teammate Aly Raisman looking on, Wieber took a deep breath and confirmed she had not escaped the abuse Nassar afflicted on so many other gymnasts and athletes over at least 25 years.

"I thought that training for the Olympics would be hardest thing I would ever have to do," Wieber said. "But the hardest thing I've ever had to do is process that I'm a victim of Larry Nassar. It has caused me to feel shame and confusion and I have spent months trying to look back and wonder how I didn't even know this was happening to me, how I became so brainwashed by Larry and everyone at USA Gymnastics, both whom I thought were on my side. He became a safe person, and was the 'good guy' in an intense, restricting environment."


Jordyn Wieber at the 2006 U.S. junior championships

Wieber, the most decorated gymnast to ever come out of Michigan, returned home to join a parade of women delivering devastating victim's impact statements in the sentencing hearing of Nassar, a serial pedophile who preyed on vulnerable girls and women by sexually assaulting them, nearly all using methods he described as "treatment" to help injured back, hip, pelvic and hails from nearby DeWitt. Nassar pleaded guilty last November as part of plea deal that saw him prosecuted for only 10 assaults, seven of which occurred in Ingham County, home of his former employer, Michigan State University.

The sheer number of survivors of Nassar's abuse has been difficult to track, with more than 150 women reportedly alleging abuse over at least 25 years. As part of his plea deal, he agreed to allow any woman whom he had assaulted to deliver a victim impact statement at his sentencing hearing. The number of women who requested was up to 104, it was announced Thursday by the assistan attorney general.

One of those was Wieber, whose appearance Friday was a closely guarded secret. When news of allegations against Nassar first made headlines in September 2016, Wieber's mother, Rita Wieber, defended Nassar.

"Larry was always very professional in treating Jordyn throughout the years," Rita Wieber told the Detroit Free Press 15 months ago.

An emotional Wieber largely ignored Nassar, who has been sitting in the witness box next to the judge, as she explained how he began sexually abusing her following a torn hamstring she suffered when she was 14. Like many others, she had trusted that Nassar, whom she knew from age 8, was performing legitimate medical treatment on her, which he inflicted "time after time, appointment after appointment."

Wieber, who will turn 24 in July, trained at Geddert's Twisters USA Gym in Lansing throughout her career. She won the world all-around title in 2011 in Tokyo, where she was part of the U.S. women's gold medal team. She also won the American Cup titles in 2009 and 2011. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, she was hampered by a stress fracture in her right leg and failed to advance to the all-around final because of the two-per country rule, but helped the American women, dubbed the "Fierce Five," win their first Olympic team title outside the United States. She finished seventh on floor in the final.

Wieber said she discussed Nassar's "treatment" with her teammates, who were also uncomfortable with it, but that they were too afraid that challenging him or complaining would keep them off the Olympic team. Now she is struggling with the revelation that she was actually being sexually abused by a man entrusted to help her with her injuries as she pursued her dream of competing in the Olympics.

"Was Larry even doing anything to help my pain?" she asked. "Was I getting the proper medical care? What was he thinking about when he massaged my sore muscles every day? Now, I question everything."

Wieber slammed USA Gymnastics as well as the U.S. Olympic Committee for allowing a pedophile to prey on young girls who were overtrained, deprived food and frightened. Nassar was the only man allowed to be alone in the gymnasts' rooms at the Karolyi ranch and in hotel rooms, including the Olympic Village, a violation of basic policies for both organizations.

"Larry Nassar is accountable," Wieber said. "USA Gymnastics is accountable. The U.S. Olympic Committee is accountable. (USA Gymnastics') lack of accountability has caused me and many other girls to remain shameful, confused and disappointed. My teammates and friends have been through enough and now it's time for change. The current and future gymnasts do not deserve to live in anxiety, fear and being unprotected like I was."

Wieber turned professional prior to the 2012 Olympics and thus was not eligible to compete in the NCAA. Still, she was active with the women's team at UCLA, where she worked as a student coach alongside Val Kondos Fields and Chris Waller. She trained separately from the team, but elected to retire rather than continue elite competition. Last June, she graduated from UCLA with a degree in psychology.

Nassar was the team doctor at Twistars Gymnastics and Geddert's previous gym, Great Lakes Gymnastics, where he victimized gymnasts for decades. Many have spoken up this past week to accuse Nassar of grooming them by acting as their protector in what they allege was a psychologically and physically abusive environment. This week, ESPN's Outside the Lines and a local television network alleged that Geddert was one of Nassar's main enablers and that he had been reported both to the police and USA Gymnastics for violent behavior.

Nassar maintained his innocence until last November, when he pleaded guilty and admitted his supposed treatment was in fact done for his own gratification. He has already been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for charges related to child pornography. Wieber also stated that Nassar obsessively photographed the gymnasts.

"Nobody was protecting us from being taken advantage of," Wieber said. "I was not protected, and neither were my teammates."

Wieber stated that she did not want the media to focus on her story.

"I am an Olympian, but I am also one of more than 140 women," she said. "Our pain is all the same."

The number of women who will speak has grown to 117 and is expected to last through next Tuesday.

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Tuesday, 16 January 2018 07:45    PDF Print
Dozens of Victims Prepare to Face Nassar in Court
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



The first day of the sentencing hearing of Larry Nassar for sexual assault begins Tuesday at 9 a.m. EST in Ingham County, Michigan, where dozens of his victims will be allowed to face the former USA Gymnastics doctor who is at the center of the largest known sex abuse scandal in sports history.

The first day of the sentencing hearing of Larry Nassar for sexual assault begins Tuesday at 9 a.m. EST in Ingham County, Michigan, where dozens of his victims will be allowed to face the former USA Gymnastics doctor who is at the center of the largest known sex abuse scandal in sports history.

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who was elected to the 30th Circuit Court for Ingham County in November 2008, is overseeing the sentencing. Judge Aquilina has allowed an extraordinary four-day hearing to allow any of Nassar's victims who filed complaints with Michigan State University to provide victim impact statements to the court. The women and girls will be given a chance to face Nassar personally or to send a letter to inform the judge of the devastation and suffering his assaults have caused them. It is unknown how many plan to attend the hearing in person, but there is no time limit imposed on any of the victims who wish to address the court.

Ingham County is the home of Michigan State University, where for nearly 20 years Nassar worked as an associate professor at the College of Osteopathic Medicine and as a team doctor for the athletics department, specifically the gymnastics team. He was also the team doctor for Geddert's Twistars USA Gymnastics Club, which has locations in Lansing, Ingham County, and in Dimondale, Eaton County. One of the victims was a family friend, who reported that her assaults began at age 6 years old.

Nassar, 54, was charged with 26 counts of aggravated sexual misconduct, but he pleaded guilty last November to 10 counts as part of a plea deal with Michigan Attorney-General Bill Schuette. Seven of the counts are related to assaults in Ingham County and three are from Eaton County, where he faces a second sentencing later this month. The Michigan Attorney-General's Office recommended a sentence of 40 to 125 years in prison for Nassar.

Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis is the lead prosecutor in the case against Nassar. She runs a cold-case sexual assault project in Michigan and prosecutes cases of multi-victim and multijurisdictional sexual assault, such as the case against Nassar.

More than 130 women have gone public since September 2016 to report that Nassar, under the guise of osteopathic procedures, sexually assaulted them. The victims range from young girls, collegiate athletes, dancers, club gymnasts and five U.S. Olympians: Jamie Dantzscher, whose civil lawsuit in September 2016 helped finally bring down Nassar — and McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles. Biles, the most decorated gymnast in U.S. history, went public on Monday to confirm she had also been among Nassar's victims, who could number in the thousands.

Even though national team member Maggie Nichols and her coach, Sarah Jantzi, informed USA Gymnastics of Nassar's assaults in June 2015, it was not until September 2016, when 2000 Olympian Jamie Dantzscher and former Kalamazoo club gymnast Rachael Denhollander came forward with the first public accusations, that Nassar was removed from practice and arrested. Nassar was fired from MSU in September 2016 and stripped of his medical license in April 2017. Denhollander is leading the federal civil suit against Michigan State University that has more than 130 co-plaintiffs suing the university, Nassar, USA Gymnastics and/or Twistars. MSU, USA Gymnastics and Twistars all have filed motions to dismiss, claiming they were not liable for Nassar's behavior.

Nassar has been in Ingham County Jail since December 2016, where he was denied bail after being indicted on federal charges related to child pornography. On December 7, 2017, a federal judge sentenced Nassar to the maximum of 60 years in prison on three counts (20 years each), to be served consecutively. Nassar, whose wife filed for divorce in January 2017, has appealed the sentence in forma pauperis, claiming to be destitute.

The proceedings will be streamed online by multiple outlets. The Law & Crime Network plans to stream the hearing online via Livestream.com.

People of the State of Michigan v. Lawrence Gerard Nassar: Ingham County

ChargesStatuteStatus
1Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (person under 13, defendant 17 years of age or older)750.520B2B Pleaded guilty November 22, 2017
2Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (person under 13, defendant 17 years of age or older)751.520B2B Pleaded guilty November 22, 2017
3Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (person under 13, defendant 17 years of age or older)752.520B2B Awaiting nolle prosequi (court will not prosecute)
4Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (person under 13, defendant 17 years of age or older)750.520B2B Awaiting nolle prosequi
5Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (relationship)750.520B1BPleaded guilty November 22, 2017
6Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (relationship)750.520B1BAwaiting nolle prosequi
7Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (relationship)750.520B1BAwaiting nolle prosequi
8Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (relationship)750.520B1BPleaded guilty November 22, 2017
9Criminal sexual conduct – third degree (person aged 13–15)750.520D1A Awaiting nolle prosequi
10Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (relationship)750.520B1BPleaded guilty November 22, 2017
11Criminal sexual conduct – third degree (person aged 13–15)750.520D1A Awaiting nolle prosequi
12Dismissed at or preliminary before hearingDismissed
13Dismissed at or preliminary before hearingDismissed
14Dismissed at or preliminary before hearingDismissed
15Dismissed at or preliminary before hearingDismissed
16Dismissed at or preliminary before hearingDismissed
17Dismissed at or preliminary before hearingDismissed
18Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (relationship)750.520B1BPleaded guilty November 22, 2017
19Criminal sexual conduct – third degree (person aged 13–15)750.520D1A Awaiting nolle prosequi
20Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (relationship)750.520B1BAwaiting nolle prosequi
21Criminal sexual conduct – third degree (person aged 13–15)750.520D1A Awaiting nolle prosequi
22Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (relationship)750.520B1BAwaiting nolle prosequi
23Criminal sexual conduct – third degree (person aged 13–15)750.520D1A Awaiting nolle prosequi
24Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (person under 13)750.520B1A Pleaded guilty November 22, 2017
25Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (person under 13)750.520B1A Awaiting nolle prosequi
26Criminal sexual conduct – first degree (person under 13)750.520B1A Awaiting nolle prosequi
 
Written by Amanda Turner    Monday, 15 January 2018 16:58    PDF Print
Biles 'Not Afraid to Tell My Story Anymore' of Sexual Abuse by Nassar
(8 votes, average 4.38 out of 5)

World and Olympic champion Simone Biles, the most successful gymnast the United States has ever produced, came forward Monday afternoon to reveal that she was also sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

Biles, known equally for her big grin and tremendous power as an athlete, said she has struggled with going public with her allegations against Nassar. She joins fellows Olympians Jamie Dantzscher, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas as among more than 140 women who come have forward to reveal the once highly respected doctor sexually assaulted them under the guise of treatment.


Simone Biles at the 2016 Olympic Games

"Please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to first speak those words out loud than it is now to put them on paper," Biles wrote on Twitter and Instagram, in a post with the hashtag #MeToo. "There are many reasons that I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault."

Biles has been vocally supportive of her teammates who came forward but until Monday had kept her own story private. Like Raisman, Biles identified herself as a survivor of sexual assault, not a victim.

"I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG, and others," she wrote.

Biles, who will turn 21 on March 14, won three consecutive world all-around titles from 2013 to 2015, dominating the sport of women's gymnastics. She capped off her streak with four gold medals at the 2016 Olympics in Rio: team gold for the United States and individual golds in the all-around, vault and floor exercise. After taking a break for a year, Biles recently returned to training at her family-owned World Champions Centre in Spring, Texas. In her note, Biles said she is traumatized at the thought of having to return to the Karolyi ranch, the U.S. national training center near Houston where Nassar allegedly had free reign to take gymnasts alone behind closed doors in order to assault them. USAG backed out of plans to buy the ranch after Nassar was first exposed in 2016, but the organization has made no concrete steps to replace the center, or even hold training camps at a temporary facility.

Raisman, who won the silver medal in the all-around behind Biles at the 2016 Olympics, tweeted a photo of the two holding hands in Rio along with a message of support.

"I am so proud of you," tweeted Raisman, the captain of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. women's Olympic teams. "You are incredible Simone. I stand with you. I am shaking reading your post. I know we will all get through this together."

After Maggie Nichols, Raisman and another gymnast were overheard at the Karolyi ranch in June 2015 discussing Nassar's "treatments" by Nichols coach, Sarah Jantzi, Jantzi and Nichols informed USA Gymnastics. USA Gymnastics sent a human resources consultant to interview Nichols and Raismanm instead of immediately alerting authorities. In a recent statement, USA Gymnastics claimed that statements from Nichols and Raisman "did not provide reasonable suspicion that sexual abuse had occurred," a stunning announcement that Raisman called "hurtful."

USA Gymnastics states that it reported Nassar to the FBI in July 2015. Nassar left USA Gymnastics in September 2015 but the allegations against him were not made public. He announced his retirement from USA Gymnastics and was allowed to continue practicing at Michigan State University, where he was an associate professor and team physician. He also continued to work at the Twistars Club near Detroit. Michigan State University, which had reportedly ignored repeated complaints about Nassar dating to at least 1997, is being sued alongside USA Gymnastics by more than 130 women.

USA Gymnastics, which has been accused of trying to silence gymnasts and their families from speaking about the Nassar scandal, has filed a motion to dismiss some of the lawsuits in Michigan, claiming it had no legal duty to notify MSU or Twistars of allegations against Nassar.

"An investigation must be done on @USAGym I am sick over this," Raisman tweeted Monday. "We must get to the bottom of how this disaster happened."

In November, Nassar pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual assault in two Michigan counties. The first of two sentencing hearings begins Tuesday in Ingham County and is expected to last through Friday. As part of his plea deal, the judge can consider other victims not included in the prosecution. As many as 100 women are expected to give victim impact statements, either in person or via letter to the court. Nassar was already sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for charges related to child pornography, discovered in September 2016 after women filed reports with the MSU Police Department.

Statement from Simone Biles

Most of you know me as a happy, giggly, and energetic girl. But lately...I've felt a bit broken and the more I try to shut off the voice in my head the louder it screams. I am not afraid to tell my story anymore.

I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar. Please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to first speak those words out loud than it is now to put them on paper. There are many reasons that I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault.

It is not normal to receive any type of treatment from a trusted team physician and refer to it horrifyingly as the "special" treatment. This behavior is completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abusive, especially coming from someone whom I was TOLD to trust.

For too long I've asked myself, "Was I too naive? Was it my fault?" 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 impossibly difficult 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.

After hearing the brave stories of my friends and other survivors, I know that this horrific experience does not define me. I am much more than this. I am unique, smart, talented, motivated, and passionate. I have promised myself that my story will be much greater than this and I promise all of you that I will never give up. I will compete with all of my heart and soul every time I step into the gym. I love this sport too much and I have never been a quitter. I won't let one man, and the others that enabled him, to steal my love and joy.

We need to know why this was able to take place for so long and to so many of us. We need to make sure something like this never happens again.

As I continue to work through the pain, I kindly ask everyone to respect my privacy. This is a process, and one that I need more time to work through.

XO, Simone Biles

 


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