Olympic champion McKayla Maroney has added her voice to the massive and growing list of women using the hashtag #MeToo to share their stories of sexual abuse and sexual harassment, and, more specifically, Maroney joins the more than 140 women who allege they were abused by Larry Nassar, team doctor for USA Gymnastics.
In a late-night Twitter post, Maroney said Nassar had abused her her entire career, lasting from age 13 until she retired from gymnastics. (Her last competition came in 2013; her formal retirement was announced in 2016.)
“I was molested by Dr. Larry Nassar, the team doctor for the US Women’s National Gymnastics Team. Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving ‘medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years.’ It started when I was 13 years old, at one of my first National Team training camps, in Texas, and it didn’t end until I left the sport.
“It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated.’ It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver. For me the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old. I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. He’d given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a ‘treatment.’ I thought I was going to die that night.”
Maroney, now 21, was on the gold medal-winning women’s team at the 2012 Olympics, and won a silver on vault there.
Nassar, accused of abusing scores of USA gymnasts and student-athletes at Michigan State during medical exams, pleaded guilty this summer to federal child pornography charges, and is awaiting sentencing. He still faces 33 charges of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan, related to the alleged abuse of nine gymnasts. He’s also being sued by more than 100 women in multiple lawsuits.