Simone Biles Talks USA Gymnastics, Trying to Heal After Larry Nassar Scandal

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 7, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: Simone Biles of the USA reacts after finishing her her performance on balance beam during the Superstars of Gymnastics at The O2 Arena on March 23, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

American gymnast and four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles spoke with Mechelle Voepel of ESPNW.com Wednesday and expressed anger, distrust and frustration toward USA Gymnastics in the aftermath of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal: 

"It's really sad for us, because it becomes a problem whenever we work with future people," Biles said. "How can we trust them? They bring in new people all the time, and I automatically put my foot up because the people that I had known for years had failed us. So it's hard for them to bring anyone up to us.

"It's really hard to talk about. I just feel like ... I don't mean to cry, but it's just ... it's hard coming here for an organization and having had them fail us so many times. And we have won gold. We've done everything they asked [of] us, even when we didn't want to. And they couldn't do one damn job. You had one job. You literally had one job, and you couldn't protect us."

Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State doctor, sexually abused more than 200 young women and girls under his care. He was sentenced up to 175 years in prison in 2018.

Marisa Kwiatkowski, Mark Alesia and Tim Evans of the Indianapolis Star shone a spotlight on USA Gymnastics, which failed to report cases of abuse by coaches. Former USA gymnast Rachael Denhollander then spoke with the Indianapolis Star and revealed Nassar's abuse. Eventually, more than 150 gymnasts came forward.

An investigation (h/t Nicole Chavez of CNN.com) led by United States senators Richard Blumenthal and Jerry Moran determined that the FBI, the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University had all "failed" to stop Nassar's abuse.

As for the present day, the healing process continues for Biles and others:

"There's no manual. I feel like as a gymnast, if we're hurt or if something goes wrong, you go to the doctor or your coaches, and they tell you all the right steps to the healing process. But for this, everybody's healing process is different.

"And I think that's the hardest part, because I feel like maybe I should be healed. ... But I feel like it will be an open wound for a really long time, and it might not ever get closed or healed. But it's what I go to therapy for."

Biles was also asked whether she could have "full faith" in USA Gymnastics again after the organization's inaction:

"All we can do at this point is have faith that they'll have our backs and they'll do the right thing," Biles said. "But at the end of the day, it's just a ticking time bomb. But, we'll see. It's a waiting game."

Biles, a 14-time world champion, will compete for her sixth U.S. Gymnastics Championships title on Friday and Sunday in Kansas City.