Olympic champion Aly Raisman slammed USA Gymnastics’ choice of interim president on Monday as pressure mounted on the embattled organization to rethink the appointment.
In a series of posts on Twitter, Raisman criticised the decision to hire former Republican US Congresswoman Mary Bono to take over at the helm of the scandal-plagued governing body.
Raisman said Bono’s association with law firm Faegre Baker Daniels – which advised USA Gymnastics during the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal – made her position untenable.
The 24-year-old 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medalist accused Faegre Baker Daniels of helping “cover up” Nassar’s crimes before the scandal erupted into public view.
“My teammates & I reported Nassar’s abuse to USAG in 2015,” Raisman wrote. “We now know USOC & lawyers at Faegre Baker Daniels (Mary Bono’s firm) were also told then, yet Nassar continued to abuse children for 13 months!?
“Why hire someone associated with the firm that helped cover up our abuse?”
Nassar abuse survivor Raisman is suing both USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee over the scandal.
Former USA team doctor Nassar was jailed for life this year for abusing more than 250 athletes, including many stars of the USA’s 2012 and 2016 Olympic squads.
“Survivors, current gymnasts, families, coaches, gymnastics community & fans deserve better,” Raisman wrote on Monday.
“We can’t move forward until we know exactly what happened. USAG take accountability, be transparent, release all your documents & data. PLEASE tell the truth. This is so devastating.”
Another gymnast abused by Nassar, Kaylee Lorincz, meanwhile, addressed Bono directly on Twitter.
“You owe me an explanation of why you and your firm allowed Larry to abuse me in 2016 after you were well aware that he was abusing little girls,” Lorincz wrote.
Biles upset at Bono
Monday’s developments came after controversy erupted last weekend soon after Bono was named to her position on Friday.
Bono drew the ire of Olympic champion Simone Biles after a tweet posted by her last month that was critical of apparel maker Nike after the company’s ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick.
Bono posted a photo of herself blacking out a Nike logo on a golf shoe.
“Playing in a charity golf tournament raising money for our nation’s Special Forces operators and their families. Unfortunately had these shoes in my bag. Luckily I had a marker in my bag too....” wrote Bono, who also re-tweeted a response that said “#BoycottNike.”
In response, the Nike-sponsored Biles tweeted on Saturday: “*mouth drop* ... don’t worry, it’s not like we needed a smarter usa gymnastics president, or any sponsors or anything.”
The furor that has greeted Bono’s arrival is another blow to USA Gymnastics, which was forced to part company with chief executive Kerry Perry last month.
Perry resigned under pressure from the US Olympic Committee after nine months in the job.
Her departure came after the appointment and resignation of elite coach Mary Lee Tracy – who had made comments supportive of Nassar in 2016 when allegations of abuse against him had begun to emerge.