Two-time Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney alleged early Wednesday in a tweet that she was sexually abused by former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
“It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver,” Maroney wrote in a letter she posted on Twitter.
Why is she sharing this now?
Maroney, who won team gold and individual silver in the vault as part of the famous “Fierce Five” U.S. Gymnastics team at the 2012 Olympics in London, said she was inspired by the #MeToo movement to share her story. The 21-year-old took to Twitter, where she wrote that she was abused from age 13 until she left the sport last year. Nassar was involved with USA Gymnastics for nearly three decades as a trainer and national medical coordinator.
Nassar is currently in prison in Michigan and awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography in July, according to the Daily Mail
“Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving ‘medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years,'” Maroney wrote. “It started when I was 13 years old, at one of my first National Team training camps, in Texas, and it didn’t end until I left the sport. It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated.'”
More than 125 women have filed lawsuits against Nassar, claiming he sexually assaulted them under the pretense of medical treatment, the New York Daily News reported. It’s not known whether Maroney is part of those lawsuits.
In one incident, Maroney said Nassar gave her a sleeping pill during a flight to Tokyo. When she woke up, she was alone with him in his hotel room.
“For me, the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old,” Maroney wrote in her Twitter post. “… He’d given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a ‘treatment.’ I thought I was going to die that night.”
— mckayla (@McKaylaMaroney) October 18, 2017
Maroney also recalled watching the 2004 Olympics and deciding that she would one day compete.
“Sure, from the outside looking in, it’s an amazing story,” she said. “I did it. I got there, but not without a price.”
What’s the USA Gymnastics response?
In a statement to ABC News, the USA Gymnastics said it “admires the courage of those, like McKayla Maroney, who have come forward to share their personal experiences with sexual abuse. Because of their strength in coming forward, predators can be held accountable for their actions. We, like so many others, are outraged and disgusted by the conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused. We are sorry that any athlete has been harmed during her or his gymnastics career.”