The American gymnast Aly Raisman said that she too had been sexually abused by the team doctor who is facing criminal charges for molesting other gymnasts.
Ms. Raisman, 23, made the revelation in an interview with “60 Minutes,” excerpts from which were released Friday, and in a book, “Fierce,” being released next week.
“I am angry,” she said. “I’m really upset because I care a lot, when I see these young girls that come up to me, and they ask for pictures or autographs, whatever it is, every time I look at them, every time I see them smiling, I just think I just want to create change so that they never, ever have to go through this.”
Ms. Raisman was captain of the teams that won gold medals for the United States at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics. Another member of the 2012 team, McKayla Maroney, said last month that the doctor, Lawrence G. Nassar, began molesting her at age 13. Jamie Dantzscher, a 2000 Olympian, is among the other gymnasts who have accused Dr. Nassar.
Dr. Nassar is in jail in Michigan, facing 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving at least seven victims. “This guy is a monster,” Bill Schuette, the attorney general of Michigan, said in February.
Dr. Nassar, who has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, is awaiting trial on criminal sexual conduct charges, and he has been sued by more than 100 women accusing him of sexual abuse. He has pleaded not guilty to the assault charges.
Although the charges relate to seven gymnasts, lawyers say dozens of other accusers have come forward.
Dr. Nassar has denied accusations against him in the past. A lawyer who has represented him, Matt Newburg, said Friday that he did not have a comment.
“Why are we looking at why didn’t the girls speak up?” Ms. Raisman told “60 Minutes.” “Why not look at, what about the culture? What did USA Gymnastics do, and Larry Nassar do, to manipulate these girls so much that they are so afraid to speak up?”
In a statement, USA Gymnastics said it had adopted a new policy that requires the reporting of suspicions of sexual abuse. “We want to work with Aly and all interested athletes to keep athletes safe,” it said. “We are appalled by the conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused, and we are very sorry that any athlete has been harmed during his or her gymnastics career.”
The interview will air in full on Sunday on CBS.
In addition to her team gold medals, Ms. Raisman won the 2012 gold medal in floor exercise, as well as two individual silver medals and one bronze in her Olympics career. She also won four world championships medals and numerous national titles.
Though she was the oldest gymnast on both the 2012 and 2016 teams, she has spoken of continuing her career and going for the 2020 Games.
Published at Sat, 11 Nov 2017 03:20:05 +0000