Gymnast formerly known as Nassar victim “Athlete A” comes forward

(WLNS) – Elite University of Oklahoma gymnast and former Olympic hopeful Maggie Nichols has come forward to say she is “Athlete A”, the first gymnast to notify USA Gymnastics that she was being abused by Dr. Larry Nassar.

“Up until now, I was identified as Athlete A by USA gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee and Michigan State University. I want everyone to know that he did not do this to Athlete A, he did it to Maggie Nichols,” Nichols wrote in her letter.

In a letter released today the OU sophomore Nichols spoke out strongly against USA Gymnastics for not taking any action after she told them how she had been abused under the guise of receiving treatment for a back injury.

Nichols began competing at the elite level when she was 13 years old.

Nassar had treated her for an elbow injury but when she was 15 she injured her back and Nassar began treating her.

In the summer of 2015 Nichols and a coach reported the sexual abuse to USA Gymnastics for the first time.

“I started to have back problems while at a National Team Camp at the Karolyi Ranch. This is when the changes in his medical treatments occurred,” Nichols wrote. “I remember he took me into the training room, closed the door and closed the blinds. At the time I thought this was kind of weird but figured it must be okay… but then he started touching me in places I really didn’t think he should.”

Former Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas, members of the gold-medal-winning team from the 2012 London Olympics, have all come forward in recent months alleging Nassar sexually assaulted them during medical exams.

Nichols said in her letter that her faith has sustained her through the ordeal.

She also urged young athletes to stand up and speak out if something doesn’t seem right.

Nassar has admitted to sexually assaulting the gymnasts, possessing child pornography and molesting girls who sought treatment.

He is scheduled for sentencing next week on the molestation cases. He was sentenced in December to 60 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

This story is developing and will be updated online and on 6 News.

>>The Associated Press contributed to this story

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