Larry Nassar: Aly Raisman criticises Li Li Leung's comments on abuse case

Aly Raisman addressing the court at Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing
Aly Raisman was one of those who addressed the court at Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing

Olympic gold medallist Aly Raisman has criticised the new head of USA Gymnastics for an "oversimplification" of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case.

Ex-US gymnast Li Li Leung, who was appointed chief executive in February, told NBC she was never abused by Nassar because her coach was "by her side".

However, many of Nassar's accusers have previously said they were abused when another adult was in the room.

Former team doctor Nassar was sentenced to more than 300 years in jail in 2018.

He was convicted of the abuse of at least 265 women at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University.

In the TV interview with the Today show, Leung said: "I was not abused by him because my coach was by side. I was seen by him in a public setting so I understand what the setting needs to be like to ensure safety for our athletes."

Leung's comments have angered many of Nassar's victims and their families, with the father of one victim calling for her resignation.

In a post on social media, Rio 2016 gold medallist Raisman, who was one of Nassar's victims, said: "This oversimplification of such a horrific, systemic problem shows a lack of both sensitivity and understanding.

"The critical issue isn't why one person was not abused, but why hundreds were (some in public settings with others present).

"Suggesting that athlete safety can be achieved simply by requiring coaches (or parents) to be present, and changing the setting of medical treatment, is misleading and dangerous. Fixing the problem requires an understanding that can come only from a full and independent investigation."

Leung had earlier apologised for her comments, saying she understood how they would seem "insensitive" to victims and their families.

"My intent was not to diminish what they've been through," she wrote on social media.

"I should have clarified that my experience was completely different from theirs and it is wrong to suggest I could have a solution based on my experience alone.

"I cannot know all necessary steps to take until I hear their stories, and hope they will have a dialogue with us regarding athlete safety and wellbeing going forward."

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