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Simone Biles on USA Gymnastics: ‘They couldn’t do one damn job... you didn’t protect us’


Simone Biles can’t boycott USA Gymnastics if she wants to compete at Olympics or world championships. The very governing body that employed Larry Nassar, the doctor who sexually abused Biles and scores of other gymnasts, is the same one that has the power to select national teams. So Biles and her peers are in the miserable spot of having to compete at championships run by USAG every year until the organization dissolves or is decertified by the U.S. Olympic Committee, neither of which seems imminent.

Biles, the best gymnast ever, hates it. “It’s hard coming here for an organization, having had them fail us so many times,” she said on Wednesday, ahead of this weekend’s U.S. championships in Kansas City. “We had one goal, and we’ve done everything that they asked us for, even when we didn’t want to,” Biles said, tearing up. “They couldn’t do one damn job, you had one job, you literally had one job, and you didn’t protect us.”

Not only is Biles reminded of Nassar’s abuse at every national championship, it’s made her afraid to go to the doctor. (Much of Nassar’s abuses occurred under the guise of treating injuries.) “Every time I go to the doctor... it’s like, I don’t want to get worked on,” Biles said.

“We will continue to work hard to demonstrate to Simone and all of our athletes, members, community and fans that we are working to foster a safe, positive and encouraging environment where athlete voices are heard,” USAG president Li Li Leung responded in a statement.

Nassar will spend the rest of his life in jail, and his boss at Michigan State, William Strampel, received a one-year jail sentence on Wednesday. But the organization that gave the doctor his prestige and access to young women continues to exist, and continues to put on championships like nothing happened.