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Simone Biles, four-time Olympic gold medalist, alleges Larry Nassar sexually abused her

Monday - 15/01/2018 20:34
Over 140 women have accused Larry Nassar of sexual abuse. USA TODAY Sports

Corrections and clarifications: In a previous version of this story, the court in which former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar will appear this week was misidentified. Nassar will appear in state court and could receive a life sentence.

Olympic all-around gymnastics champion Simone Biles stepped forward Monday to allege she also was abused by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

“I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar,” Biles wrote in posts on Twitter and Instagram. “Please believe me when I say it was a lot harder to first speak those words out loud than it is now to put them on paper. There are many reasons that l have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault.”

Nassar will be sentenced on seven sexual assault charges in a Michigan court this week as part of a plea agreement and could receive life in prison. The sentencing begins Tuesday and is expected to last through Friday.

He previously was sentenced to 60 years in federal court for possessing child pornography.

Biles, 20, joins the 140 women who have accused Nassar of abuse in his roles at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State. Fellow U.S. gymnastic stars Aly RaismanGabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney had come forward prior and alleged Nassar abused them.

“It is not normal to receive any type of treatment from a trusted team physician and refer to it horrifyingly as the “special” treatment,” Biles wrote. “This behavior is completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abusive, especially coming from someone whom 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, USAG, and others.”

Raisman tweeted earlier Monday that she will not be attending the sentencing hearing Tuesday, where many of the victims and their parents are expected to read victim impact statements.

"I will not be attending the sentencing because it is too traumatic for me. My impact letter will be read in court in front of Nassar. I support the brave survivors. We are all in this together. #StopAbuse"

Biles, who took home five medals (four golds and a bronze) at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, is back training for the 2020 Summer Games, something she wrote is "impossibly difficult."

"It breaks my heart even more to think that as I work towards my dream of competing in Tokyo 2020, I will have to continually return to the same training facility where l was abused," Biles wrote. 

Dr. Larry Nassar: A history of preying on people

Biles said she was compelled to come forward after "hearing the brave stories of my friends and other survivors."

"I know that this horrific experience does not define me," Biles wrote. "I am much more than this. I am unique, smart, talented, motivated, and passionate. I have promised myself that my story will be much greater than this and I promise all of you that I will never give up. I will compete with all of my heart and soul every time I step into the gym. I love this sport too much and l have never been a quitter. I won't let one man, and the others that enabled him, to steal my love and joy."

She closed the letter by asking for privacy.

"This is a process, and one that I need more time to work through," Biles wrote. 

Follow Perez on Twitter @byajperez

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