Aly Raisman blasts USA Gymnastics for 'victim shaming'

Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman unleashed a blistering attack on USA Gymnastics on Wednesday, accusing the organization of "victim shaming" for its response to new criticism of a sexual abuse scandal.

"Your statements are hurtful," Raisman tweeted. "If you did not believe that I & others were abused than why pressure & manipulate us? WE WERE MOLESTED BY A MONSTER U ENABLED 2 THRIVE FOR DECADES. You are 100% responsible."

Raisman revealed last month that she is one of more than 135 girls and women allegedly molested by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, who has pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual assault and federal pornography charges.

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Gymnasts who have accused Larry Nassar of assault
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Gymnasts who have accused Larry Nassar of assault
Rachael Denhollander (C) the first woman to publicly say she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the former physician for the U.S. womens gymnastics team is hugged during a hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court on November 22, 2017 in Lansing, Michigan. Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Lawrence (Larry) Nassar, accused of molesting dozens of female athletes over several decades, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. Nassar -- who was involved with USA Gymnastics for nearly three decades and worked with the country's gymnasts at four separate Olympic Games -- could face at least 25 years in prison on the charges brought in Michigan. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Larissa Boyce, a former gymnast sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the former physician for the U.S. womens gymnastics team attends a hearing of Nassar's trial in Ingham County Circuit Court on November 22, 2017 in Lansing, Michigan. Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Lawrence (Larry) Nassar, accused of molesting dozens of female athletes over several decades, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. Nassar -- who was involved with USA Gymnastics for nearly three decades and worked with the country's gymnasts at four separate Olympic Games -- could face at least 25 years in prison on the charges brought in Michigan. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Rachael Denhollander (4th L with white blouse) the first woman to publicly say she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the former physician for the U.S. womens gymnastics team attends a hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court on November 22, 2017 in Lansing, Michigan. Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Lawrence (Larry) Nassar, accused of molesting dozens of female athletes over several decades, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. Nassar -- who was involved with USA Gymnastics for nearly three decades and worked with the country's gymnasts at four separate Olympic Games -- could face at least 25 years in prison on the charges brought in Michigan. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Madeleine Jones, 18 of Farmington Hills, Michigan, who was victimized by former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar attends a hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court on November 22, 2017 in Lansing, Michigan. Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Lawrence (Larry) Nassar, accused of molesting dozens of female athletes over several decades, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. Nassar -- who was involved with USA Gymnastics for nearly three decades and worked with the country's gymnasts at four separate Olympic Games -- could face at least 25 years in prison on the charges brought in Michigan. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Larissa Boyce (R) gets a hug from Alexis Alvarado, both victims of Larry Nassar, during a hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court on November 22, 2017 in Lansing, Michigan. Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Lawrence (Larry) Nassar, accused of molesting dozens of female athletes over several decades, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. Nassar -- who was involved with USA Gymnastics for nearly three decades and worked with the country's gymnasts at four separate Olympic Games -- could face at least 25 years in prison on the charges brought in Michigan. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
kalie Lorincz (C) who was victimized by former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar during a hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court on November 22, 2017 in Lansing, Michigan. Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Lawrence (Larry) Nassar, accused of molesting dozens of female athletes over several decades, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. Nassar -- who was involved with USA Gymnastics for nearly three decades and worked with the country's gymnasts at four separate Olympic Games -- could face at least 25 years in prison on the charges brought in Michigan. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 02: McKayla Maroney of USA gets ready to compete in the Womens Vault Qualification on Day Three of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Belgium 2013 held at the Antwerp Sports Palace on October 2, 2013 in Antwerpen, Belgium. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Aly Raisman of the United States performs during the women's floor exercise final at Rio 2016 on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. Raisin finished second to fellow American Simone Biles. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29: Olympic medalist Simone Biles stands on stage during an East Room event at the White House September 29, 2016 in Washington, DC. President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcome the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to the White House to honor their participation and success in the Rio Olympic Games this year. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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This week, elite gymnast Maggie Nichols, a former national team member, said she was the first athlete to report Nassar to USA Gymnastics — in the summer of 2015, more than a year before allegations against the sports medicine doctor were made public.

Nichols and her attorney blasted USA Gymnastics for not responding faster to her report and not doing more to ensure more patients wouldn't be victimized. USA Gymnastics admits it waited five weeks to alert law enforcement and didn't notify Michigan State University, where he had his practice.

In response to Nichols' denunciation, USA Gymnastics issued an extraordinary statement on Tuesday, saying that after its private investigator interviewed Nichols and Raisman, it did not have a "reasonable suspicion" they had been molested by Nassar.

It wasn't until the private eye spoke to a third gymnast, believed to be Raisman's "Fierce Five" teammate McKayla Maroney, that USA Gymnastics went to the FBI, the statement said. The organization said it didn't warn MSU or the public that Nassar, still practicing medicine, was a suspected predator because it believed the FBI did not want it to speak to anyone about the investigation.

Raisman, who told her story on TODAY last month, was infuriated by the response.

"STOP VICTIM SHAMING," she tweeted at USA Gymnastics, which is the national governing body for the sport and chooses the national and Olympic teams.

USA Gymnastics had no immediate response to Raisman's tweet. The organization has applauded gymnasts who have come forward to accuse Nassar — including another 2012 medalist, Gabby Douglas — while insisting protecting athletes is its top priority.

The statement USA Gymnastics put out this week was its most defensive since the scandal over Nassar erupted in August 2016 when the Indianapolis Star revealed two former patients had accused him of abusing them under the guise of invasive treatments.

Nichols said Nassar began abusing her when she was 15 and attending a training camp at the famed Karolyi ranch. It came to light when the coach overheard her talking to another athlete about the doctor's "treatments."

Nichols, who missed out on the 2016 Olympics because of an injury, thanked fellow gymnasts on Wednesday for their support.

Nassar, meanwhile, is awaiting sentencing next week in Michigan state court for assaulting 10 girls. He's already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for possession of child pornography — a charge that Maroney has said makes her terrified there are images of her being abused circulating in pedophile circles.

Nassar has pleaded guilty in both the state and federal cases. His attorneys have declined to comment, citing a gag order in place. He still faces more than 100 lawsuits

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