Simone Biles Not Ready To Put Trust Back In USA Gymnastics
Simone Biles ahead of this week's U.S. Gymnastics Championships in K.C. discussed her "lack of faith" in USA Gymnastics, saying that she "still did not trust the organization," according to Danielle Allentuck of the N.Y. TIMES. Biles, speaking with reporters yesterday after a training session, said: "It’s hard coming here to an organization and having had them fail us so many times." Biles on Sunday tweeted that the "more she learns ... the more she feels hurt" by USAG. Biles added, "You had one job, you literally had one job, and you couldn’t protect us." USAG President & CEO Li Li Leung in a statement responding to Biles’s comments said, "We will continue to work hard to demonstrate to Simone and all of our athletes, members, community and fans that we are working to foster a safe, positive and encouraging environment where athlete voices are heard." Biles said that "all she can do is hope USA Gymnastics will do the right thing" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/8). In DC, Liz Clarke notes when the women’s events get underway tomorrow, Biles will be "representing not only herself but also USA Gymnastics, the organization she feels failed her." USAG's logo is "prominent on banners that encircle the competition floor" at the Sprint Center, as "difficult to ignore as the absence of signage of corporate sponsors that defected in the wake of the Nassar scandal." USAG is "counting on Biles, the country’s most decorated gymnast, to woo back those corporate sponsors" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/8).
STEPPING DOWN: In California, Scott Reid notes former U.S. national team member Anna Li resigned from USAG's Athletes’ Council yesterday "amid allegations that she and her mother, Jiani Wu, have been verbally, emotionally and physically abusive to young gymnasts." Li’s resignation comes after a report in which gymnasts coached by Li and Wu "allege in interviews and confidential formal complaints filed with USA Gymnastics that Li disparaged gymnasts in front of their peers on a 'daily basis,' bullied athletes, regularly called girls fat, pressured injured athletes to train or compete, and threatened to make negative comments to college coaches recruiting them." The resignation marks the "fifth by a top USA Gymnastics official in less than a year" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 8/8).