Olympic gymnast Simone Biles says she was abused by her doctor

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Emily Reynolds
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Simone Biles has spoken out for the first time about her former doctor.

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles has revealed in a moving #MeToo post that she was abused by former USA gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. 

“Most of you know me as a happy, giggly, and energetic girl,” four time gold medallist Biles wrote in a tweet captioned “Feelings… #MeToo”. 

“But lately…I’ve felt a bit broken and the more I try to shut off the voice in my head the louder it screams.”

“I am not afraid to tell my story anymore”. 

“There are many reasons that I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now that it is not my fault,” Biles continued. “It is not normal to receive any type of treatment from a trusted team physician and refer to it horrifyingly as the ‘special’ treatment.”

“This behaviour is completely unacceptable, disgusting and abusive, especially coming from someone I was TOLD to trust.”

“For too long I’ve asked myself ‘Was I too naive? Was it my fault?’ I now know the answer to those questions. No. No, it was not my fault. No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics and others.”

“It is impossibly difficult to relive these experiences and it breaks my heart even more to think that as I work towards my dream of competing in Tokyo 2020, I will to have to continually return to the same training facility where I was abused.” 

Biles goes on to say that she will “never give up”. 

“I am unique, smart, talented, motivated and passionate.”

“I love this sport too much and I have never been a quitter. I won’t let one man, and the others that enabled him, to steal my love and joy.”

Nassar was recently sentenced to 60 years in prison for possession of child abuse images; he also pleaded guilty in November last year to “seven charges of first-degree sexual assault”. Hundreds of athletes have brought similar lawsuits, saying that he abused them “under the pretence of medical treatment”.

USA Gymnastics has released a statement saying it is “absolutely heartbroken” about the allegations.

“USA Gymnastics will continue to listen to our athletes and our members in our efforts of creating a culture of empowerment with a relentless focus on athlete safety every single day,” it wrote. 

Image: Rex Features