An Olympic Gymnast Has Posted Details Of Her Sexual Assault At The Hands Of Her Team Doctor

Daisy Murray
Photo credit: Getty

From ELLE UK

The growing 'Me Too' movement (started by activist Tarana Burke a decade ago) has seen women around the world sharing their terrible stories of sexual assault.

These have proven that, though the headline-worthy allegations towards Harvey Weinstein are horrific, they are not rare.

And now, Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney has published details about the horrendous sexual abuse she claims to have suffered at the hands of the team's doctor Larry Nassar.

They reportedly began when she was a mere 13-years-old.

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Last November, Dr. Larry Nassar was charged on three counts of criminal sexual conduct for, 'predatory, menacing criminal acts involving a minor, a young girl under the age of 13.'

NBC reported that around 50 gymnasts and patients of Nassar have since come forward with sexual abuse claims against him, and these allegations are pending investigation.

Under the 'Me Too' hashtag, the American Gold medalist gymnast McKayla Maroney has now posted a devastating note to her Twitter.

The note claims that Nassar had been assaulting her from the age of 13. She detailed:

Dr. Nassar told me I was receiving 'medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years.' 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.' It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver.

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There is a particularly distressing allegation of 'the scariest night of [her] life', she explains:

I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. 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'.

The brave 21 year-old explained that other women's posts under the hashtag propelled her to share her own story. She also wanted to make sure people knew that abuse does not happen only in one walk of life, and instead is an issue of power, she wrote:

People should know that this is not just happening in Hollywood. This is happening everywhere. Wherever there is a position of power, there seems to be potential for abuse. I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things I had to endure to get there, were necessary, and disgusting.

The gymnast closed her statement expressing hope that things will be able to change and urging others to speak out.

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In February, three other American gymnasts alleged Nassar sexually assaulted them. Jamie Dantzcher described in quite graphic detail the abuse, saying: 'He would put his fingers inside of me and move my leg around. He would tell me I was going to feel a pop. And that that would put my hips back and help my back pain.' Jessica Howard describes how he would ask her not to wear underwear and massage her in 'intimate places'.

Maloney is the latest woman to come forward out of the estimated 'hundreds' of victims. She was part of the famed Fierce Five gymnasts at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and has received public support from the rest of her teammates.

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Fellow Olympian Aly Raisman Tweeted a photo of the friends with a heart caption, as well as a post saying, '100% support you. SO proud of you and your strength. Love you like a sister!!

Other teammate Jordyn Wieber showed her support with a Tweet reading, 'So sad and heartbreaking that this happened to you Mack. I'm here for you and I support you.'