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Olympian abused by team doctor sees USA Gymnastics as 'rotten'

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Olympian abused by team doctor sees USA Gymnastics as 'rotten'

By Steve Friess

 

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Victim and former gymnast Aly Raisman speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, (R) a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

 

LANSING, Mich. (Reuters) - Olympic gold medallist Aly Raisman blasted U.S. gymnastics officials on Friday for failing to protect her and other women from years of sexual abuse by former team doctor Larry Nassar, calling the sport's governing body "rotten from the inside."

 

Raisman, co-captain of the U.S. women’s gymnastics squad at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games, called for an independent investigation into U.S. gymnastics and Olympic officials who she said had the power to stop Nassar.

 

Nassar pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree sexual assault in November.

 

“For this sport to go on, we need to demand real change, and we need to be willing to fight for it," she said.

 

"It’s clear now that if we leave it up to these organizations, history is likely to repeat itself," she said, referring to USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

 

The 23-year-old gymnast was the latest of dozens of athletes to testify this week at a hearing ahead of Nassar's sentencing at the Ingham County Circuit Court in Michigan.

 

Many of them spoke tearfully of how the abuse at the hands of Nassar, the former national medical coordinator for USA Gymnastics, left them emotionally scarred and angry.

 

In calling for an independent investigation, Raisman said she was dismayed that USA Gymnastics had offered only "empty promises" as the scandal unfolded.

 

Raisman, who won six Olympic medals, three of them gold, during her career, called on the governing body's newly installed CEO Kerry Perry to heed a chorus of demands for more accountability.

 

“Unfortunately you have taken on an organisation that is rotten from the inside,” Raisman said to Perry, who was not in the courtroom on Friday. “You will be judged by how you deal with this."

 

Glaring at the former team doctor as she read a 15-minute statement during a fourth day of hearings in the Lansing, Michigan courtroom, Raisman defiantly told Nassar that his victims were no longer isolated and weak.

 

“We have our voices and we will not be silenced," she said. "I’m no longer that little girl you met in Australia who you first began grooming and manipulating.”

 

Prosecutors have asked for a sentence of 40 to 125 years for Nassar, 54, who was also a prominent physician at a Michigan State University sports clinic. That would add to a 60-year sentence he is serving in federal prison on child pornography convictions.

 

With about 120 victims now expected to make statements at the hearing, more than initially expected, Nassar’s sentencing has been delayed to early next week.

 

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-01-20

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How this monster was allowed to get away with this, for so long, and to this extent remains a mystery. Surely there must have been some complicity at the highest levels. It seems impossible that nobody knew what was going on. Over 100 girls? Multiple offenses with each girl? Come on. Others knew. And they did nothing. Therefore the entire chain of leadership within US gymnastics, that was associated with this creep, needs to be charged, tried, and imprisoned. They were complicit, much like the leadership of the Vatican was complicit when the thousands of priests were getting busy with their parish children.

 

He was utterly destroying lives. How does an 8 year old girl come to terms with the fact that her doctor just went down on her? How does she process that? No wonder some of these gals have taken their lives. He destroyed many of these girls lives, and that of their families too. There are few punishments I can think of that would fit this crime. But, a prison term for the rest of his life, making sure he is in with the general prison population, would be a good start. I hear alot of inmates take a special fancy to serail pedophiles. He would make alot of new friends, and he would learn firsthand, what abuse feels like. Quite literally. 

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Look what the girls wear for competition. The bottom half is almost a thong. Is that the girls choice or an adults choice? I guess because they have no breasts the the butts should be on display. Don't see the guys wearing speedos.

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