Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman lambasted USA Gymnastics, demanding an “independent investigation” into the operation — a day after a former coach killed himself amid sexual abuse and human trafficking accusations.
John Geddert, 63, was facing dozens of charges in connection to the abuse of young athletes, and worked for years alongside serial gymnastics predator Larry Nassar, who was found to have abused hundreds of young girls, including Raisman.
Raisman, 26, called out the organization in a series of tweets Thursday.
“As a minor on the National Team, I frequently had to travel (without my parents) under the supervision of USA Gymnastics. The “responsible” adults included John Geddert, Marvin Sharpe, Steve Penny, and Larry Nassar,” she posted.
“Respectively, the criminal offenses they have been charged with include Criminal Sexual Conduct and Racketeering, Child Molesting, Destroying Evidence, and Sexual assault.”
Geddert was the head coach of the 2012 US championship women’s team. He killed himself hours after Michigan’s attorney general filed sex abuse charges against him that could have put him away for life.
The AG charged him with two counts of assaulting a teen in 2012, and said his practice of sending child athletes to Nassar — the team doctor who plead guilty to sexually abusing minors and child pornography in 2018 — amounted to “human trafficking.”
Prosecutors also said he was lying when he claimed he was in the dark about Nassar’s monstrous pattern of abuse.
Teammates Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross, Jordyn Wieber and Raisman all recounted multiple multiple instances of sex abuse at the hands of Nassar, who is currently serving a 175-year sentence in prison.
“For an organization that has claimed for the past 15+ years that “athlete safety is the No. 1 priority,” it’s impossible to imagine a greater failure. This is & has always been bigger than John Geddert, Marvin Sharpe, Steve Penny, and Larry Nassar,” Raisman tweeted.
“Why is there still no independent investigation? How many more children have to suffer?”
In January, USAG offered Nassar’s victims a $215 million settlement, prompting Biles to call the money insufficient without answers.
“We need to figure out why it happened, when it happened, and who knew what, when,” Team USA’s most decorated gymnast said at the time.
“We can’t feel comfortable promoting our sport if we fear that something might happen like this again because they’re not doing their part,” Biles added.
USA Gymnastics President and CEO Li Li Leung discussed the matter with reporters Friday.
“Like many of you, we had hoped that the criminal charges brought against [Geddert] would lead to some degree of resolution and justice and also, like so many of you, we were then shocked to hear just hours later of his death by suicide,” Leung said, according to the Washington Post.
Leung told the paper that USAG had cooperated with six independent investigations and would not shy away from future scrutiny.
Raisman vaulted into action to attack Leung’s statements on Twitter.
“This is disgusting & dangerous. Sweeping abuse under the rug is not leadership @Li_Li_Leung How can you say you care when you just want to move on? Are you even listening? Look at the history & the damage USAG’s inaction has caused.”
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