Olympic champion Simone Biles says she was sexually harassed by former team doctor

ANI | Updated: Jan 16, 2018 08:57 IST

New Delhi [India], January 16 (ANI): Four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles has become the latest entrant in the string of big personalities speaking about their horrifying experiences of sexual harassment they faced in their careers.

Biles, who won team, all-around, vault and floor exercise gold medals at Rio 2016, has claimed that she was sexually abused by team USA's former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

In a letter shared on her Twitter handle, the 20-year-old gymnast said, "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."

The letter continued, "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."

Calling Nassar's alleged behaviour "completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abusive", Biles shared that she was "told to trust" the disgraced physician.

"For too long I've asked myself, 'Was I too naive? Was it my fault?' I now know the answers 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," noted Biles.

The Olympic gold medalist said she got the courage to speak out "after hearing the brave stories of my friends and other survivors," and wants to help ensure that "something like this never happens again."

The gymnast also urged people to respect her privacy and promised that she will never give up.

She concluded the letter by writing, "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."

Biles is not the only gymnast to accuse Nassar of sexual harassment. Her teammates, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, are among the over 140 women and girls who have accused Nassar of sexual misconduct.

It should be noted that Nassar is serving 60 years in prison for having child sex abuse images on his computer and is awaiting sentence after admitting assaulting female gymnasts. (ANI)