Olympic gymnast Simone Biles fired back at the USA gymnastics after they sent her a happy birthday message via Twitter on Saturday, March 14. The now 23-year-old let the organization know that she believes they need to hold an “independent investigation” for the 2018 scandal involving former team doctor Larry Nassar.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the most decorated gymnast of all time, @simonebiles! We know you will only continue to amaze us and make history!” the USA Gymnastics posted to Twitter, tagging the incorrect account. The Olympian responded and wrote, “How about you amaze me and do the right thing… Have an independent investigation.”
For those who forgot, in January 2018, Simone revealed that she had been sexually abused by the former USA Gymnastics team doctor. In a lengthy and heartfelt Instagram post, she revealed that along with the other Olympians who had come out before her — like teammate Aly Raisman — she too was “one of the many survivors.” In 2018, after more than 300 women accused him of sexual abuse, the former doctor was sentenced to up to 300 years in prison, according to Fox News.
After his sentencing, Simone and many other athletes have called on the USA Gymnastics to open their own independent investigation and reveal what the organization knew about the previous allegations against the doctor, said The Washington Post.
In February 2020, Simone took to Twitter and told fans she still wanted answers.
“Heading to team camp. Still want answers from USAG and USOPC. Wish they BOTH wanted an independent investigation as much as the survivors & I do. … And don’t THEY also want to know HOW everything was allowed to happen and WHO let it happen so it NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN? Shouldn’t people be held accountable?” the gymnast wrote at the time. Her teammate Aly responded with, “The problem is USAG & USOC don’t want anyone to know. This is a massive cover up. The only way for anyone to know what really happened is if someone forces them to release ALL documents & data to investigate. HOW CAN WE MAKE THIS HAPPEN?”
USA Gymnastics released a statement in February 2020, that read, “We have fully cooperated with all investigative bodies, including by producing information that they have requested. We are deeply committed to learning from these investigations, and finding ways to prevent abuse in the future. At the same time, we must respect the confidentiality and integrity of the mediation and SafeSport processes. We would welcome the opportunity to continue mediation and discussing how to best resolve the survivors’ claims.”
If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing, recovering and more.
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