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Simone Biles rips USA Gymnastics: ‘You had one damn job and you failed to protect us’

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Olympic gymnast Simone Biles excoriated USA Gymnastics on Wednesday, saying it failed to protect athletes from sexual abuse by former team doctor Larry Nassar.

“It’s hard coming here for an organization and having had them fail us so many times,” Biles, one of more than 200 women who have claimed abuse by Nassar, told reporters at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., during a workout.

{mosads}“We had one goal and we did everything they asked us for, even if we didn’t want to. And they couldn’t do one damn job. You had one job. You literally had one job and you couldn’t protect us,” she added, fighting back tears.

Biles, who along with Nassar’s other victims was awarded ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 2018, added that she believed that continuing to speak out was vital, “because we have a platform.”

“When we tweet it obviously goes a long way, so we’re blessed to be given a platform so people will hear and listen,” she said.

“But it’s not easy coming back to the sport, coming back to the organization that has failed you. But at this point, I just try to think, I’m here as a professional athlete with my club team,” she added.

Biles’s latest comments came on the heels of a tweet on Sunday in which she linked to findings by a Senate panel on the oversight failures that allowed Nassar, who was sentenced to a total of more than 100 years in prison on state and federal charges, to go unpunished before his firing in 2015.

“USAG failed us. USOC failed us. Many failed us. And they continue to fail us. Real and actual change isn’t easy but it’s clear there’s a lot more work that needs to be done,” she tweeted.

 

“We at USA Gymnastics have made a lot of progress in strengthening our athlete safety measures and putting our athletes first, but we know we have more to do,” USAG president and CEO Li Li Leung said in a statement to The Hill.

“One of our goals is for our athletes to feel comfortable in speaking up and sharing their opinions, and we are listening to what they have to say. We will continue to work hard to demonstrate to Simone and all of our athletes, members, community and fans that we are working to foster a safe, positive and encouraging environment where athlete voices are heard.”

–This report was updated at 12:38 p.m.

Tags gymnastics sexual abuse scandal Simone Biles usa gymnastics

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