A furious Aly Raisman took to Twitter Sunday to slam the NBC “Dateline” special detailing the gymnastic abuse scandal involving convicted team doctor Larry Nassar, who has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sex crimes.
Raisman was interviewed for the Sunday special “Silent No More,” which NBC News said followed a “months-long” investigation.
In a “Dateline” interview, Raisman claimed USA Gymnastics and Steve Penny, chief executive of the sports federation, were more interested in burying the allegations against Nassar than addressing them. Raisman suggested there’s even more to the story, but “Dateline” opted not to air her full comments.
The Olympic gold gymnast claims a key part of her interview was “omitted” by the network — and she wants to know why.
“Hour prime time for investigative piece, no interview/scrutiny of current/recent execs of [USA Gymnastics], the org responsible for the sport & much of this mess! Why? I named someone currently in power at USAG that I reported Nassar to, it was omitted. Why? Still many unanswered questions,” Raisman tweeted Sunday.
Her message garnered hundreds of retweets and replies.
“Full disclosure is needed. No one in power at USAG then should remain. Start with a clean slate. Maybe @Aly_Raisman would like to be on USAG board. Strong Woman,” one Twitter user wrote in response.
“I named someone currently in power at USAG that I reported Nassar to, it was omitted. Why?”
“Starting to wonder if @NBCNews has their own interests to protect. Such as Olympic coverage and ratings,” another added, noting that NBCUniversal currently owns broadcast rights to the Olympics.
The gymnast did not elaborate on her statement, and it’s unclear which official Raisman was referring to. NBC News did not return Fox News’ request for further comment Monday afternoon.
“We kept following up with Steve Penny,” Raisman told NBC News. “And he would just say, you know, ‘I’m handling it. … Please be quiet. Remember, the most important thing is to keep this quiet.'”
A representative for Penny, who resigned from USA Gymnastics last year, told the news station in a statement that he didn’t “intend to discourage” any Nassar victim from speaking with police. In fact, he claims the FBI was contacted twice about the abuse.
“I’m appalled, I’m disgusted. I’m so upset that this happened for so long when there were so many signs and red flags.”
“There was no attempted cover-up,” he added in the statement.
Raisman filed a lawsuit in late February against the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, alleging the federations “knew or should have known” of Nassar’s sexual abuse.
“After all this time, they remain unwilling to conduct a full investigation, and without a solid understanding of how this happened, it is delusional to think sufficient changes can be implemented,” Raisman told NBC News in a statement at the time. “I refuse to wait any longer for these organizations to do the right thing. It is my hope that the legal process will hold them accountable and enable the change that is so desperately needed.”
Raisman revealed in November she was abused by Nassar during the London 2012 Olympic Games. She’s one of more than 140 girls and women, including fellow Olympic gymnasts McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles, who have come forward.
Maroney detailed her “hundreds” of abusive encounters with Nassar during the NBC special, recalling a time the doctor molested her inside a Tokyo hotel room in 2011.
“I thought I was going to die,” she added. “It was escalating.”
Maroney said she brought up the incident the next day during a car ride with USA Gymnastics coach John Geddert and other gymnasts. Three gymnasts backed Maroney’s account to NBC, though USAG denied any knowledge about the conversation, claiming they weren’t aware of the abuse until 2015.
“I’m appalled, I’m disgusted. I’m so upset that this happened for so long when there were so many signs and red flags,” she said.
NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie interviewed former USA Gymnastics National Team Coordinators Bela and Martha Karolyi, Maroney, Raisman and Gina Nichols, mother of gymnast Maggie Nichols for the hour-long broadcast.
“‘Silent No More’ reports on the alleged sexual abuse cover-up, the failures of the FBI and others to stop Nassar sooner and investigates what went wrong in the elite world of Olympic gymnastics,” NBC News said in a news release last week.
Katherine Lam and Kathleen Joyce contributed to this report.