Biles, who lit up the Rio 2016 Olympics as she won four gold medals, described the abuse in a statement posted on Twitter on Monday.
“Most of you know me as a happy, giggly, and energetic girl,” she wrote. “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.”
Nassar, a longtimet US women’s gymnasticseam physician who has been accused of sexually abusing more than 140 women and girls under the guise of medical treatment, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct in a Michigan court last year.
He was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison in a separate case, regarding child abuse images.
Biles filed her Twitter post under the #metoo hashtag, which has been used to raise awareness of sexual harassment and abuse.
“For too long I’ve asked myself, ‘Was I too naive? was it my fault?’ I now know the answer to those questions,” the 20-year-old wrote. “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.”
USA Gymnastics has come under fire over its handling of sexual abuse cases, in the wake of the Nassar scandal and an Indianapolis Star investigation that revealed the failure to report to authorities many allegations of abuse against coaches and staff at some of more than 3,500 clubs across the US.
Some of Biles’s USA team-mates have said they were abused by Nassar, including gold medalists Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas.
Maroney filed a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics last month, alleging that officials paid her to sign a confidential financial settlement to remain silent on the abuse.
Biles said she was encouraged to come forward after hearing the stories of her fellow athletes.
“After hearing the brave stories of my friends and other survivors, I know that this horrific experience does not define me,” she 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 I have never been a quitter. I won’t let one man, and the others that enabled him, to steal my love and joy.”
Biles is aiming to compete at the next Olympics although she says her experiences have affected her.
She wrote: “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.”
In December, Scott Blackmun, the leader of the US Olympic Committee, expressed his regret over the Nassar allegations. “I am so sorry that the Olympic family failed these athletes,” he wrote in a letter to key figures in the US Olympic movement.
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