The U.S. Olympic Committee’s plan to remove USA Gymnastics as the governing body in charge of the sport at the Olympic level has Aly Raisman’s approval.
The gold-medal gymnast and Needham native weighed in on the USOC’s decision on Twitter Tuesday morning, a day after USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland posted an open letter to the gymnastics community, saying, “You deserve better.”
“I believe this is a significant step forward that is necessary for the overall health and well-being of the sport and its athletes,” Raisman wrote in a note she posted to Twitter.
“Change is not easy, and the unknown can be scary, but we need to do whatever it takes to ensure nothing like this ever happens again. There are so many amazing, talented, and kind-hearted people in this sport, and it’s time for them to lead us into the future!”
It has been a little over a year since former Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing hundreds of women and girls, under the guise of being a trusted medical provider and friend.
The aftermath of his actions and the testimonies of the 156 survivors who came forward during his trial still reverberate across the gymnastics community.
Now, HBO’s new documentary — At The Heart Of Gold: Inside The USA Gymnastics Scandal directed by Erin Lee Carr — aims to reveal the dangerous system that allowed Nassar to exploit his position, providing him with opportunities to take advantage of unsuspecting athletes, and get away with it for more than 30 years.
“I was brainwashed to believe this was a valid medical procedure,” one survivor says in the first trailer for the documentary, exclusively debuted by PEOPLE.
USA Gymnastics recently offered a settlement to victims that suffered sexual abuse under former team doctor Larry Nassar. In an interview on NBC "TODAY," Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman called the settlement offer "offensive," and believes that the organization is attempting to cover up the scandal.
"It's honestly offensive," Raisman said. "It's devastating. It's incredibly draining. USA Gymnastics, United States Olympic Committee — they refused to take any accountability to address the issue, to figure out what went wrong. I am heartbroken that this is still going on."
In the proposed $215 million settlement offer, victims will be compensated with payments based on where the sexual abuse ended up taking place. The settlement would also absolve former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny in addition to former national team coordinators Martha and Béla Károlyi from any penalties resulting from the scandal.
Raisman believes that the organization is attempting to reach the settlement prior to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
"It shows they don't care," Raisman added. "They're just trying to push it under the rug and hoping people will forget about it when they watch the Olympics this summer."
Nassar sexually abused more than 150 victims and is currently serving a life sentence in prison.
Raisman is one of many American athletes that was sexually assaulted by Nassar when he was serving as the team doctor for USA Gymnastics. The three-time gold medalist even spoke during Nassar's 2018 trial.
"I don't know all the answers. And in order to make real change, we need to understand exactly what went wrong," told "TODAY" said. "I personally would like to see USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee release all their documents and data because they are not doing that. They're not answering our questions."
USA Gymnastics did release a statement on Sunday saying that they have "fully cooperated with the all law enforcement investigations.
"We have fully cooperated with all investigative bodies, including by producing information that they have requested," USA Gymnastics said. "...We are deeply committed to learning from these investigations, and finding ways to prevent abuse in the future. At the same time, we must respect the confidentiality and integrity of the mediation and SafeSport processes. We would welcome the opportunity to continue mediation and discussing how to best resolve the survivors' claims."