Drafting sports, Jul 11 (EFE) .- The American gymnast Simon Biles, four-time Olympic champion, spoke in an interview in the magazine ‘Vogue’ of the “abuse suffered” by Dr. Larry Nassar and that “it was broken” when the Tokyo Olympics were postponed because that meant one more year with USA Gymnastics.
Biles commented in the American fashion magazine that she realized that Nassar had abused her after the support of her former teammate Maggie Nichols, also a victim of abuse.
Nichols was the protagonist of a recent documentary “Athlete A” on Netflix, detailing the sexual abuse scandal.
The USA team world champion was the first to point USA Gymnastics for abuse in 2015.
“When I read what Maggie said it was a hard blow to me because I realized that she had suffered the same treatment,” said Biles.
Biles, winner of 19 world titles, described the time after this discovery as “dark.”
“I was very depressed. I slept a lot because, for me, it was the closest thing to death without harming me. It was an escape from all my thoughts, from the world, from what was happening,” she explained.
The documentary alleges that USA Gymnastics ignored Nasser’s sexual abuse, despite gymnasts reporting the doctor’s misconduct.
The documentary suggests that the governing body was more interested in making profits than in the well-being of its athletes.
Biles said when the Tokyo Games were postponed she was “shattered” as it meant she would have to spend another year with USA Gymnastics.
“I cried and thought I could not stand another year at USA Gymnastics,” said the multi-champion.
Biles, 23, has been highly critical of his federation and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and is part of some 140 athletes who have filed a complaint with both organizations.
Both USA Gimnastics and USOPC have tried to avoid being held accountable for not stopping Nassar’s abuse, and the federation offered a € 194 million settlement to plaintiffs on condition that USOPC be released from any liability.
The offer was rejected and Biles criticized both organizations for that proposal.
More than 350 women are believed to have been abused by Nassar, who received an effective life sentence by a Michigan court in 2018, for sexually abusing dozens of young gymnasts. She is also serving a 60-year prison sentence for a federal sentence for child pornography.
(c) EFE Agency