The new president and CEO of USA Gymnastics has revealed that she still needs to talk to Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman and Simone Biles two months after her appointment, but she insisted on survivors of sexual assault who had been abused by the former team reach doctor Larry Nassar.
Li Li Leung, a former gymnast of the University of Michigan, who was once treated as a teenager by Nassar, is the fourth person to have held the position of president and CEO for the past two years, while the organization is still working to address the consequences of the consequences of the shame. sexual abuse scandal.
Leung, who previously served as vice president of global partnerships for the NBA, sat down with Today's Sheinelle Jones to discuss her efforts to restore confidence in the US Gymnastics during an interview broadcast on Wednesday morning.
Wait: Li Li Leung, the new president and CEO of the American Gymnastics, admitted that she still has to speak to the Olympic Aly Raisman, who was sexually abused by former doctor Larry Nassar
Opening: she spoke with Today & Sheinelle Jones about her efforts to restore confidence in the organization following Nassar's scandal about sexual abuse in an interview broadcast on Wednesday
& # 39; First and foremost my priority when it comes to achieving a fair and complete solution with the survivors, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; That is my top priority. And then communicate with the community in terms of speaking with all our stakeholders and community coaches, gymnasts, parents, club owners to understand their perspective on things. & # 39;
US Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy protection in December 11 to try to reach settlements in the dozens of lawsuits against sexual abuse that it encountered in courts across the country by athletes blaming the group for failing to oversee Nassar.
Nassar worked for decades at American Gymnastics and Michigan State University. He serves an effective life sentence for the possession of child pornography and the abuse of young women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.
Raisman, 24, was one of the many athletes who spurred Nassar while sharing her destructive impact statement in court in January 2018. In a series of tweets she shared that month, she accused USA Gymnastics of & # 39; 100 percent responsible & # 39; to be for sexual abuse.
Don't reach: Leung also said she didn't speak to Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, who was one of the many victims of Nassar
Communication: & # 39; I have spoken with her mother, but I have not spoken to Simone yet because she has been very busy fighting, & # 39; she said. Biles is pictured with her mother, Nellie
When Jones asked Leung if she had spoken with Raisman, she said: & # 39; I have not done it yet, but I am happy with the opportunity. & # 39;
The journalist followed by asking the newly appointed president if she had contacted Biles, 22, who was also a victim of Nassar & # 39; s sexual abuse, and who should also speak with the newly appointed CEO of the organization.
& # 39; I have spoken with her mother, but I have not spoken with Simone yet, because she has been very busy to participate, & # 39; Leung revealed.
& # 39; Why not just calling and calling and saying it's okay? & # 39; Jones hit back, but Leung insisted that it wasn't that easy.
& # 39; I'd really like to do that and if I could, I'd have & # 39 ;, she said.
& # 39; We recently had a sequel to the Survivors & # 39; Committee counsel, which was the first time the American Gymnastics had entered into a direct dialogue with the committee, and we had asked this for a while.
Complicated? Leung insisted that she did want to talk to the survivors, but & # 39; it would be inappropriate & # 39; if she would contact them directly because they are & # 39; in a lawsuit & # 39;
Goal: Leugn said her & # 39; priority & # 39; as CEO of USA Gymnastics & # 39; until a fair and complete solution is reached with the survivors & # 39;
& # 39; I mean, I emphasized several times during the meeting that I want to reach the survivors. I want to embrace them and I want to hear them immediately. & # 39;
She added: & # 39; It would be inappropriate because we are in a lawsuit to contact them directly. So I did that through advice in terms of asking to meet them. & # 39;
Abuse: Nassar serves an effective life sentence for the possession of child pornography and the abuse of young women and girls
During an interview with Today & # 39; s Natalie Morales that was released earlier this week, Raisman weighed in on Leung & # 39; s appointment as the head of American Gymnastics.
& # 39; I have never met her. If she listens, I think the most important thing now is a completely independent investigation, & she said.
& # 39; You cannot say that changes have been made until we are really sure that all people have disappeared who obscured it. There are still people working at the Gym in the US who have obscured this huge problem. & # 39;
Raisman has been a frank advocate for serious changes within USAG and has often called on the organization to fail to make sufficiently significant internal changes in the aftermath of the Nassar case.
And she hasn't been alone.
Former US president and CEO, Steve Penny, came under pressure in March 2017 and has since been arrested and charged with manipulating evidence in the Nassar case.
New appointment: It was announced that Leung became president and CEO of the organization in February
Previous leaders: Former US gymnastics president, Steve Penny (left), was arrested for tampering with evidence regarding the Nassar probe. His replacement, Kerry Perry (right), lasted less than a year when she stepped down under heavy supervision of the USOC.
His replacement, Kerry Perry, lasted less than a year when she stepped down under heavy supervision of the United States Olympic Committee last September. Perry was criticized for appointing former trainer Mary Lee Tracy as the organization's elite development coordinator. Tracy had publicly supported Nassar in 2016.
The organization turned to former American delegate Mary Bono in October of last year, but resigned after four days and said she felt her relationship with the controversial organization was a & # 39; liability & # 39; would be.
Bono & # 39; s resignation came after a setback in the gymnastics community due to criticism of the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.
Leung emphasized during the Today interview that Jones & # 39; athlete safety is a priority & # 39; is for the organization.
Begrijp I understand that words can sometimes be empty, so I have said before and I will say again, judge us by our actions and not our words and so I believe you will see that we will show that we care give our athletes, & she said.
Before the interview was even broadcast, Leung was confronted with opposition to her remarks that she was treated by Nassar as a competitive gymnast after she had injured her knee when she was sixteen.
Past: Leung (on stage) was a gymnast at the University of Michigan from 1992 to 1995
Past: Leung was treated by Nassar after injuring her knee when she was a 16-year-old competition gymnast
Indignation: Leugn is faced with kickback after saying that she was seen by Nassar but was not abused by him because their interaction was controlled by her coach and took place in a public environment
Anger: Leung was quickly attacked on social media, as many critics indicated that several victims shared Nassar's abuse while other people were in the room
Backlash: Critics accused her of not listening to the victims
Call: many asked her to apologize to the victims for her comments
& # 39; You were lucky & # 39 ;: Twitter users pointed out that many athletes were abused when they had someone close to them
Recoil: Michael Weiszbrod, whose teenage daughter Ashleigh was abused by Nassar, called for Leung to be fired for her comments
Apology: Leung apologized for her response to Twitter on Wednesday
Error: she insisted that she never wanted to compare her experience with that of Nassar & # 39; s victims
In the preview clip that was shared on social media on Tuesday evening, Leung said she was seen by Nassar but was not abused by him because their interaction was controlled by her coach and took place in a public environment.
& # 39; I was seen by Larry Nassar myself, & # 39; she said. & # 39; But I was not abused by him and the reason why I was not abused by him was because my coach was by my side when he saw me.
& # 39; I was seen by him in a public environment & # 39 ;, she added. & # 39; So I understand what the environment should look like to ensure safety for athletes. & # 39;
Leung was quickly attacked on social media, as many critics reported that several victims shared that they were being abused by Nassar while other people were in the room – including their parents.
& # 39; Comments like this really make it look like they didn't listen to the impact statements. What a bad look, & a person wrote.
Another addition: & # 39; Many athletes who were abused had their parent in the room during the attack. You were lucky. They weren't. & # 39;
Michael Weiszbrod, whose teenage daughter Ashleigh was abused by Nassar, called for Leung to be fired for her comments.
Survivor: Raisman was one of the many athletes who urged Nassar while bringing her damning impact statement to the court in January 2018
Complicit: in a series of tweets she shared that month, she accused USA Gymnastics of & # 39; 100 percent responsible & # 39; to be for sexual abuse
Taking a stand: Raisman shows her support for the hundreds of women who accuse USC doctor George Tyndall of assault by lobbying to extend the statute of limitations
Using her voice: Raisman spoke in support of extending the statue of limitations to file civil lawsuits against Tyndall in Capitol Tuesday
& # 39; @Li_Li_Leung was apparently a lucky one. I'm sorry he abused my daughter and I WAS in the room and that seems to be uncomfortable for you, & he tweeted. & # 39; Please resign or @USAGym should fire you immediately. & # 39;
Leung apologized for her comment on Twitter Wednesday, insisting that she never wanted to compare her experience with that of Nassar & # 39; s victims.
Scandal: Tyndall is accused of abusing nearly 500 women
& # 39; I understand that my comment seems insensitive to the survivors and their families and I apologize. My intention was not to reduce what they experienced, & she wrote. & # 39; I should have clarified that my experience was completely different from theirs and it is wrong to suggest that I could only find a solution based on my experience.
& # 39; I cannot know all the steps that need to be taken before I hear their stories and I hope that in the future they will have a dialogue with us about the safety and well-being of athletes. & # 39;
Raisman, meanwhile, shows her support for the hundreds of women accusing USC physician George Tyndall of assault by lobbying to extend the status of restrictions.
In her recent interview with Morales, she said that her case reflected that of the women who say they were abused by Tyndall.
Just like her, she said, she was forced to endure abuse while & so many adults looked the other way & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Another doctor has so many survivors and it is the same story of so many people who knew about it and covered it up.
& # 39; It's not just the fact that I was abused by a trusted adult, it's the fact that there were so many adults around me who knew about it and looked the other way and covered it up, & # 39; Raisman Today told.