A ‘heartbroken’ Aly Raisman blasts USA gymnastics settlement as ‘offensive’
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman said USA Gymnastics is involved in a "cover-up" and blasted the organization's proposed settlement that absolves officials of liability for former doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse of numerous gymnasts.
"It's honestly offensive," Raisman told NBC's "Today" on Monday. "It's devastating. It's incredibly draining. USA Gymnastics, United States Olympic Committee — they refused to take any accountability to address the issue, to figure out what went wrong.
"I am heartbroken that this is still going on."
USA Gymnastics has proposed a $215 million settlement to compensate victims, with payments based on where the abuse happened. As part of the settlement, former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny, former national team coordinators Martha and Béla Károlyi, and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee would be absolved from liability in the settlement.
Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman called a proposed new settlement by USA Gymnastics “offensive” and says the organization is blocking efforts to get all the details of how Larry Nassar was able to sexually abuse athletes for years. https://t.co/f6jKjRmcvH
"It shows they don't care," Raisman said. "They're just trying to push it under the rug and hoping people will forget about it when they watch the Olympics this summer."
The proposed settlement comes six months ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Raisman was sexually assaulted by Nassar, a former team doctor for USA Gymnastics who is now serving life in prison, and spoke passionately in a witness statement during his 2018 trial.
The 25-year-old said too much information is still being blanketed by USA Gymnastics.
"I don't know all the answers. And in order to make real change, we need to understand exactly what went wrong," she said. "I personally would like to see USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee release all their documents and data because they are not doing that. They're not answering our questions."
USA Gymnastics, in a statement to NBC News responding to Raisman's comments, expressed "deep respect and empathy for the victims" while noting it was doing its best to achieve "justice for the survivors in an expedited manner."
Reigning Olympic champion Simone Biles, who also says she was sexually abused by Nassar, tweeted on Saturday, "Still want answers from USAG and USOPC. Wish they BOTH wanted an independent investigation as much as the survivors & I do. Anxiety high. ….And don’t THEY also want to know HOW everything was allowed to happen and WHO let it happen so it NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN? Shouldn’t people be held accountable?"
USA Gymnastics released a statement Saturday in response to Biles' criticism: "We have fully cooperated with all investigative bodies, including by producing information that they have requested. Investigations have been led by Ropes & Gray (an independent law firm), several congressional committees, the Indiana Attorney General, and Walker County, Texas; and we will continue to cooperate. We are deeply committed to learning from these investigations, and finding ways to prevent abuse in the future. At the same time, we must respect the confidentiality and integrity of the mediation and SafeSport processes. We would welcome the opportunity to continue mediation and discussing how to best resolve the survivors’ claims."
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