Sports

Raisman: USA Gymnastics failed to protect athletes

Raisman: USA Gymnastics failed to protect athletes

In an interview set to air on 60 Minutes this Sunday, Aly Raisman says that she too was a victim of Larry Nassar.

She claimed that on top of seeing the physician as a friend and confidante, she also was unaware of what sexual abuse really was - which is why she didn't realize the gravity of her situation until now.

"Why are we looking at why didn't the girls speak up?"

In a statement, USA Gymnastics said it was "appalled by the conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused, and we are very sorry that any athlete has been harmed during her or his gymnastics career".

USA Gymnastics hired former federal prosecutor Deborah Daniels to review its practices, and her report found USA Gymnastics needed a "complete cultural change" so safety and well-being of athletes was a greater priority than world and Olympic medals.

'We want to work with Aly and all interested athletes to keep athletes safe'.

Raisman is the second member of the Fierce Five squad that won gold at the London Olympics who has said Nassar abused her.

Raisman, 23, is now training to return in three years for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, an unprecedented move in the sport which would give her a shot at surpassing Shannon Miller's United States record of seven Olympic medals.

Nassar, who is in jail and awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to child pornography, denies he sexually assaulted underage girls.

Authorities revealed back in December of previous year that they had discovered over 37,000 images and videos of child pornography featuring girls as young as six and a Go Pro video of Nassar molesting a group of young girls in a pool. Raisman tells 60 MINUTES that after the Rio Olympics she spoke to FBI investigators about Dr. Nassar.

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"I was just really innocent, I didn't really know, you know, you don't think that of someone, so I trusted him", Raisman said.

"I think that's what is important for people to understand is that these monsters are so good at manipulating you so you're so brainwashed to think - I thought he was so nice", she said.

According to the Lansing State Journal, which is part of the USA TODAY Network, more than 140 women have alleged sexual abuse by Nassar, under the guise of medical treatment.

Among the accusers is another decorated gymnast, Raisman's 2012 teammate McKayla Maroney.

Almost a month ago, another member of the fierce five, Olympic gold medalist Mckayla Maroney came forward as well saying she too was sexually assaulted by Nassar. "I$3 wanted to do the right thing", she said.

'It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was "treated". She says Nassar touched her inappropriately while disguising the abuse as treatment. "If I can help one person, then that's totally what it's all about". She was 15 at the time.

Aly Raisman continues to share her story.

Raisman also wrote: "100% support you".

Alexandra Raisman of the US performs during the Women's Floor Exercise Final at the Artistic Gymnastics events of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 16 August 2016. "The last few months have not been easy for me", says Raisman.

She also expressed her fear, having not yet revealed at that time she was one of the doctor's victims. "It should have never ever happened and I think that needs to be discussed more".