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Biles 'Not Afraid to Tell My Story Anymore' of Sexual Abuse by Nassar
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World and Olympic champion Simone Biles, the most successful gymnast the United States has ever produced, came forward Monday afternoon to reveal that she was also sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

Biles, known equally for her big grin and tremendous power as an athlete, said she has struggled with going public with her allegations against Nassar. She joins fellows Olympians Jamie Dantzscher, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas as among more than 140 women who come have forward to reveal the once highly respected doctor sexually assaulted them under the guise of treatment.

Simone Biles at the 2016 Olympic Games

"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," Biles wrote on Twitter and Instagram, in a post with the hashtag #MeToo. "There are many reasons that I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault."

Biles has been vocally supportive of her teammates who came forward but until Monday had kept her own story private. Like Raisman, Biles identified herself as a survivor of sexual assault, not a victim.

"I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG, and others," she wrote.

Biles, who will turn 21 on March 14, won three consecutive world all-around titles from 2013 to 2015, dominating the sport of women's gymnastics. She capped off her streak with four gold medals at the 2016 Olympics in Rio: team gold for the United States and individual golds in the all-around, vault and floor exercise. After taking a break for a year, Biles recently returned to training at her family-owned World Champions Centre in Spring, Texas. In her note, Biles said she is traumatized at the thought of having to return to the Karolyi ranch, the U.S. national training center near Houston where Nassar allegedly had free reign to take gymnasts alone behind closed doors in order to assault them. USAG backed out of plans to buy the ranch after Nassar was first exposed in 2016, but the organization has made no concrete steps to replace the center, or even hold training camps at a temporary facility.

Raisman, who won the silver medal in the all-around behind Biles at the 2016 Olympics, tweeted a photo of the two holding hands in Rio along with a message of support.

"I am so proud of you," tweeted Raisman, the captain of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. women's Olympic teams. "You are incredible Simone. I stand with you. I am shaking reading your post. I know we will all get through this together."

After Maggie Nichols, Raisman and another gymnast were overheard at the Karolyi ranch in June 2015 discussing Nassar's "treatments" by Nichols coach, Sarah Jantzi, Jantzi and Nichols informed USA Gymnastics. USA Gymnastics sent a human resources consultant to interview Nichols and Raismanm instead of immediately alerting authorities. In a recent statement, USA Gymnastics claimed that statements from Nichols and Raisman "did not provide reasonable suspicion that sexual abuse had occurred," a stunning announcement that Raisman called "hurtful."

USA Gymnastics states that it reported Nassar to the FBI in July 2015. Nassar left USA Gymnastics in September 2015 but the allegations against him were not made public. He announced his retirement from USA Gymnastics and was allowed to continue practicing at Michigan State University, where he was an associate professor and team physician. He also continued to work at the Twistars Club near Detroit. Michigan State University, which had reportedly ignored repeated complaints about Nassar dating to at least 1997, is being sued alongside USA Gymnastics by more than 130 women.

USA Gymnastics, which has been accused of trying to silence gymnasts and their families from speaking about the Nassar scandal, has filed a motion to dismiss some of the lawsuits in Michigan, claiming it had no legal duty to notify MSU or Twistars of allegations against Nassar.

"An investigation must be done on @USAGym I am sick over this," Raisman tweeted Monday. "We must get to the bottom of how this disaster happened."

In November, Nassar pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual assault in two Michigan counties. The first of two sentencing hearings begins Tuesday in Ingham County and is expected to last through Friday. As part of his plea deal, the judge can consider other victims not included in the prosecution. As many as 100 women are expected to give victim impact statements, either in person or via letter to the court. Nassar was already sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for charges related to child pornography, discovered in September 2016 after women filed reports with the MSU Police Department.

Statement from Simone Biles

Most of you know me as a happy, giggly, and energetic girl. 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.

I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar. 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 I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault.

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 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.

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 have to continually return to the same training facility where I was abused.

After hearing the brave stories of my friends and other survivors, I know that this horrific experience does not define me. 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 I have never been a quitter. I won't let one man, and the others that enabled him, to steal my love and joy.

We need to know why this was able to take place for so long and to so many of us. We need to make sure something like this never happens again.

As I continue to work through the pain, I kindly ask everyone to respect my privacy. This is a process, and one that I need more time to work through.

XO, Simone Biles

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