Simone Biles listed as plaintiff for the first time in Larry Nassar abuse lawsuit

Yahoo Sports

America’s greatest and most decorated gymnast Simone Biles has identified herself as a plaintiff for the first time in the ongoing Larry Nassar abuse lawsuit against USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

ESPN reported that Biles’ name appeared on the plaintiff list of a motion filed on Monday, which seeks the testimony of current and former USOPC officials. Biles is one of over 250 women who were sexually assaulted by Nassar while he was serving as the team doctor for USA Gymnastics, and more than 140 of those women are suing USAG and the USOPC for failing to do anything to prevent Nassar’s abuse despite being told it was taking place. Nassar is currently serving a sentence of 40 to 175 years in prison.

According to ESPN, Monday’s motion seeks the testimony of USOPC chair Susanne Lyons, former USOPC CEO Scott Blackmun, and former USOPC chief of sport performance Alan Ashley.

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Simone Biles is now part of a lawsuit against the USAG and USOPC. (Photo by Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Simone Biles is now part of a lawsuit against the USAG and USOPC. (Photo by Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty Images)

An investigation conducted by law firm Ropes & Gray on behalf of the USOPC found that Blackmun and Ashley had both been told about Nassar’s sexual abuse by former USAG CEO Steve Penny. That was in July 2015, but Ropes & Gray found that neither acted on that information. Nassar left USAG just two months later, but continued to treat patients at Michigan State for another year. Attorneys for the survivors allege that Nassar continued to sexually assault women during that time, according to ESPN.

The USOPC has been trying to avoid being held responsible for failing to stop Nassar’s abuse. USAG, which filed for bankruptcy in December 2018, proposed a $215 million settlement to the survivors in February, but there were two conditions: the USOPC had to be released from all financial responsibility, and no current or past USOPC employees would be required to provide testimony. That offer was rejected.

Biles, who is still training for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, has spoken up numerous times about how she feels USAG and the USOPC failed her and scores of other gymnasts who rely on them to provide a safe training environment. At the US Championships in 2019, Biles emotionally admonished USA Gymnastics for failing to do the one thing they were supposed to do: protect her.

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