Horrified reaction to sex abuse twist


OLYMPIAN Simone Biles has shared her shock at discovering USA Gymnastics (USAG) failed to tell her it was investigating team doctor Larry Nassar over allegations of sexual abuse.

Last year Nassar was sentenced to a minimum 100 years behind bars over child pornography and sexual assault offences. He was found guilty of sexually abusing athletes under his care after hundreds of women came forward to accuse Nassar of abuse during his time at Michigan State University and as head doctor of the American Olympic Gymnastics team.

Biles, who won four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, was among Nassar's accusers alongside fellow Olympic teammates Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported this week USA Gymnastics contacted the FBI in 2015 to raise concerns Nassar had sexually abused athletes, but left Biles in the dark despite knowing she felt uncomfortable around the doctor and was one of the first people to voice her issues over his conduct.

The report says then-USAG chief executive Steve Penny didn't inform Biles about the internal investigation.

Taking to Twitter, Biles was clearly horrified by the WSJ report.


"Can't tell you how hard this is to read and process," Biles wrote on Friday in response to Radnofsky's article. "The pain is real and doesn't just go away … especially when new facts are still coming out.

"What's it going to take for a complete and independent investigation of both USOPC and USAG???"

On Saturday, Biles added: "Seems to me wasn't just USAG but USOC and FBI. Why???

"Did everyone know but me?"

Biles reportedly didn't learn of any investigation into Nassar's conduct until after returning home from the 2016 Games, where she established herself as one of world sport's biggest stars.

New USAG CEO Li Li Leung issued a statement in the wake of WSJ's bombshell revelations, saying the organisation was "surprised, deeply saddened and outraged to learn from the Wall Street Journal that Simone Biles was one of the athletes mentioned in the original notification in 2015 that triggered the initial Nassar investigation.

"We have extended our apologies to Simone and her family and we are very sorry our organisation's leadership at the time handled this situation in a disrespectful and inconsiderate way."




If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

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