Two years ago Larry Nassar, the USA Gymnastics doctor, was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for his systematic abuse of over 150 young women. But years on, the survivors are still waiting for an investigation and Simone Biles has taken to Twitter in frustration.
She was on her way to a training camp in Indianapolis and wrote: "Ugh at the airport. Heading to team camp. Still want answers from USAG and USOPC. Wish they BOTH wanted an independent investigation as much as the survivors & I do. Anxiety high. Hard not to think about everything that I DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT!!!"
"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? Who do I ask??? I’m torn at this point...."
Biles' questions come as USA Gymnastics have announced a proposal to settle hundreds of lawsuits relating to their failure to safeguard the athletes against Nassar.
The terms of the proposal include releasing many of the USA Gymnastics team from liability, including former coaches Marth and Bela Karolyi and US Olympic officials. It also allows them to withhold who within the organisation knew about and hid Nassar's abuse.
The proposal includes a $215 million settlement which would be split between 100 lawsuits representing over 350 athletes. The figure is part of a bankruptcy proposal and is the amount USA Gymnastics' insurers are said to be willing to pay.
Biles' remarks received wide support including from Rachael Denhollander, the first to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual abuse. The former gymnast wrote: "I stand with Simone, and every other courageous survivor."
Denhollander called for sponsors to take action in solidarity with the gymnasts, asking: "When are you going to take the abuse of athletes seriously and stop funding organizations who facilitate and harbor abusers? These athletes deserve so much better."
Alexandra Raisman, the five-time Olympic medallist, also tweeted in support of Biles, calling for a full investigation. She wrote: "The problem is USAG & USOC don’t want anyone to know. This is a massive cover up. The only way for anyone to know what really happened is if someone forces them to release ALL documents & data to investigate."
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