March 29, 2023

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Sports: Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney alleges abuse by team doctor in shocking open letter about speaking out

Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney alleged on Wednesday that former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar abused her.

Maroney, who won gold and silver medals as part of the “Fierce Five” women’s gymnastics team in the 2012 London Olympics, spoke out as part of the #MeToo movement to raise awareness about abuse.

She alleged that Nassar began abusing her when she was 13.

Nassar is already facing 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to ESPN. More than 100 women have accused him of abuse.

“I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary, and disgusting,” Maroney said in a statement, via Twitter.

Maroney said Nassar used to give her “medically necessary treatment” that he said he had been performing for 30 years.

“It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated,'” Maroney wrote.

Maroney recalled an all-day flight to Tokyo when she was 15 during which she said Nassar gave her a sleeping pill. Maroney said she woke up in Nassar’s hotel room while he was giving her “treatment.”

“I thought I was going to die that night,” Maroney said.

According to ESPN, Nassar is facing charges in a Michigan court in a case in which two women alleged he “digitally penetrated them during medical exams” for his own sexual pleasure.

According to ESPN, there are 125 women suing Nassar, his former employer, Michigan State University, and USA Gymnastics. Nassar has also pleaded guilty to federal child-pornography charges and is awaiting a sentence.

Maroney suggested several options to help stop sexual abuse. She encouraged victims to speak up and asked for institutions and people in power to be held accountable for inappropriate actions. She also called for better education on the matter.

“Is it possible to put an end to this type of abuse?” Maroney wrote. “Is it possible for survivors to speak out, without putting careers, and dreams in jeopardy? I hope so. Our silence has given the wrong people power for too long, and it’s time to take our power back.”

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