McKayla Maroney, Olympic gold medalist, says the former team doctor, Larry Nassar molested her. She says this occurred on her first visit to the Karolyi Ranch. Nassar continued to abuse Maroney over the next five years.
In an exclusive interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, Maroney said, “He said that nobody would understand this and the sacrifice that it takes to get to the Olympics. So you can’t tell people this.”
Maroney’s interview will air on “Dateline,” Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET. The broadcast will include exclusive interviews with gymnastic coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi. They have not spoken since the sexual abuse scandal came out over a year ago.
There will also be interviews with Olympian Aly Raisman and Gina Nichols, the mother of former world champion Maggie Nichols. NBC says, “there will be new details about the alleged cover-up attempt by USA Gymnastics and the failure of the FBI and others to stop Nassar sooner.”
The Olympic gold medalist said that Nassar’s words made sense, and she did not want to tell anyone what was happening. She did not think anyone would understand, just as Nassar told her.
Maroney will be talking about her circumstances for the first time. She disclosed that she was a victim of Nassar a year ago. Maroney described what Nassar did to her when she first met him at the ranch, at the age of 13.
The first time Nassar abused Maroney, he told her he was going to perform a checkup.
Nassar has confessed in court that he touched and penetrated his patients when he was not wearing gloves, while he was supposed to be giving medical treatment. Nassar saw Maroney every time she was at the ranch and at competitions around the world. According to Maroney, Nassar molested her every time he saw her until she quit competitive gymnastics. It was hundreds of times.
Maroney made an appearance at a luncheon for a charity to protect children. She criticized the institution that failed to protect her childhood and the hundreds of other victims of Nassar. She blasted USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University where Nassar practiced sports medicine.
She said the organizations only cared about medals and money and nothing else.
USA Gymnastics had Maroney sign a non-disclosure agreement as part of a quiet settlement. In response to Maroney’s out-cry, stated that they admired her courage to speak out. Additionally, they said they are doing “everything possible” to prevent current and future abuse and intend to make this clear moving forward.
The USOC has apologized to the victims of Nassar and called for reform. Michigan State University has stated that they are making changes. The college ignored the warning about Nassar being a predator.
There are still questions about the role of the institutions in this crisis. There is a U.S. Senate subcommittee that will be holing a hearing on April 18, 2018. They will be discussing the best ways to protect Olympic athletes. Among the athletes testifying will be Jordyn Wieber, another victim of Nassar.
Nassar is now serving up to 175 years in prison.
By Jeanette Smith
NBC News: McKayla Maroney says Larry Nassar molested her ‘hundreds’ of times
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