ATHLETE A

Gymnast Maggie Nichols Comes Forward as First Larry Nassar Whistleblower

Gymnast Maggie Nichols has come forward to identify herself as “Athlete A” in the USA Gymnastics sex-abuse scandal, saying she was the first to report misconduct by former team doctor Larry Nassar but that authorities initially ignored her complaints. “Up until now, I was identified as ‘Athlete A’ by USA Gymnastics, the U.S. 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,” she said in a statement issued Tuesday. Nichols said she was 15 when Nassar began grooming her and later abusing her. She has accused USA Gymnastics of initially failing to take action on her complaints, waiting until fellow gymnasts Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney made similar allegations to report the abuse to the FBI. USA Gymnastics praised Nichols for coming forward Tuesday, but denied that it had tried to cover up the abuse. Nassar is serving a 60-year sentence on child-pornography charges and awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to 10 counts of criminal sexual misconduct.