Olympian Aly Raisman 'heartbroken' by USA Gymnastics settlement over Larry Nassar abuse

The proposed settlement absolves senior officials of liability for former doctor's sexual abuse

James Crump
Tuesday 03 March 2020 07:24
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Aly Raisman talks on Today about the settlement for Larry Nasser's sexual assault of several gymnasts
Aly Raisman talks on Today about the settlement for Larry Nasser's sexual assault of several gymnasts

Olympic gold medallist Aly Raisman has blasted USA Gymnastics amid their proposed settlement absolving senior officials of liability for former doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse of several gymnasts.

The proposed settlement from the organisation is $215m to help compensate victims, with the amount tiered and decided by where the abuse occurred.

However, the settlement absolves liability for the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee alongside the USA Gymnastics former CEO Steve Penny and the former national team coordinators Márta and Béla Károlyi.

Raisman accused the organisation of trying to "push it under the rug" when she spoke to NBC's Today on Monday.

"It shows they don't care," the gymnast 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 25-year-old, who was sexually assaulted by Nassar, gave a witness statement during his trial in 2018 and told Today how offended she is by the proposed settlement.

"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."

Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison for the three counts of criminal sexual assault, but many more gymnasts including Simone Biles have also accused the former doctor.

Biles vented her frustration over the settlement decision on Saturday, asking why there has not been an independent investigation.

"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!!!" she tweeted.

USA Gymnastics responded to the four-time Olympic gold medallist, defending the process of the investigation.

"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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