In The Know

Simone Biles, Aly Raisman express anger over USA Gymnastics’s settlement proposal

Getty Images

Simone Biles lashed out at officials from USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee on Saturday over its proposal for settling lawsuits from current and former athletes who say they were abused by former team doctor Larry Nassar. 

The proposal reportedly releases U.S. Olympic officials, former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny, former coaches Martha and Béla Károlyi and others from all liability, according to The Washington Post. It also does not include guidelines for naming who within the gymnastics organization knew of Nassar’s actions. 

On the way to Indianapolis for a U.S. women’s training camp, Biles, a five-time Olympic medalist and six-time U.S. all-around champion, tweeted “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, who said she was abused by Nassar in January 2018, continued.

Former gymnast Rachael Denhollander, who publicly accused Nassar of sexual abuse in 2016, responded in support of Biles’s tweet.

“I’m with you Simone. Your character and courage is far above the leadership of either organization,” Denhollander wrote. “Sponsors of these organizations need to know that the worst thing they can do for survivors, athletes and the next generation, is to keep these broken organizations alive.”

2016 Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman also tweeted, “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. HOW CAN WE MAKE THIS HAPPEN?” 

USA Gymnastics proposed a $215 million settlement for more than 500 litigants last month, which is less than half of the $500 million that Michigan State University will pay 332 litigants who have come forward with claims that Nassar sexually abused them. Nassar was also formerly employed by the school. 

Later reporting revealed that the organization had proposed a four-tiered compensation system based on the professional level the athletes reached and the setting where the abuse allegedly happened, ranging from $1.25 million for gymnasts who say they suffered abuse at the Olympics, world championships or national training camps and competitions to $82,550, the Washington Post reported.

USA Gymnastics told The Washington Post on Saturday that, “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,” it continued.

USA Gymnastics filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2018, saying the move would speed up settlements for athletes. The filing also stopped further discovery in the lawsuits against the organization and the Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s attempts to remove its status as the national governing body for gymnastics, according to The Washington Post.


Most Popular

Load more


See all Video