Simone Biles would bar daughter from USA Gymnastics after Nassar scandal

  • USAG failed to protect athletes from doctor’s sexual abuse
  • Olympic champion attacks lack of accountability
Simone Biles is preparing for the Tokyo Olympics
Simone Biles is preparing for the Tokyo Olympics. Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images
Simone Biles is preparing for the Tokyo Olympics. Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images

Last modified on Tue 16 Feb 2021 04.29 EST

Simone Biles says she would not allow her daughter to be part of the USA Gymnastics set-up following the organization’s handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

Nassar, a former doctor for USA Gymnastics, was given an effective life sentence in 2018 for abusing dozens of athletes in his care, including Biles.

During an appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday, Biles was asked if she would let her daughter, if she were to have one, train with USA Gymnastics.

“No,” replied the four-times Olympic champion. “Because I don’t feel comfortable enough, because they haven’t taken accountability for their actions and what they’ve done.

“And they haven’t ensured us that it’s never going to happen again.”

Biles has previously called for an independent investigation into USA Gymnastics’ failure to prevent Nassar abusing young athletes over a number of years. In March last year she said: “How about you amaze me and do the right thing – have an independent investigation.”

On Sunday the 23-year-old said questions about the Nassar case still remained.

“Just who knew what, when? You guys [USA Gymnastics] have failed so many athletes,” she said.

“And most of us underage. You guys don’t think that’s a bigger problem? Like, if that were me and I knew something I’d want it resolved immediately.”

Li Li Leung, the chief executive of USA Gymnastics, told CBS the organisation recognises “how deeply we have broken the trust of our athletes and community, and are working hard to build that trust back”.

Biles said that USA Gymnastics had failed to protect the athletes it profits from. “We bring them medals. We do our part.

“You can’t do your part in return? It’s just, like, it’s sickening.”

In January 2020, USA Gymnastics announced a plan to pay a $215m (£164m) settlement to the group of athletes abused by Nassar.

Biles is the most decorated US gymnast after winning 19 world titles and four Olympic gold medals.