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Rio Olympics Daily Preview: August 6

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Saturday the action at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro get underway in earnest, and the action begins bright and early in Brazil. all of the action will be streamed at NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app. Among the sports in action Saturday are men’s basketball, including Team USA’s opener against China, and women’s soccer with the top ranked American women facing FIFA No. 3 France in the most anticipated match of the group stage. All the action will be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app.

Men’s gymnastics will also get underway, with the United States men looking to earn a place in the team final and their individual competitors aiming for spots in the all-around and event finals. Swimming opens Saturday, with Americans such as Connor Jaeger (men’s 400m freestyle), Elizabeth Beisel and Maya DiRado (both in the 400m individual medley) looking to earn medals. Capping things off Saturday will be the women’s beach volleyball tandem of Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross making their Olympic debut at 11:15 p.m. at the beach volleyball venue on the famed Copacobana beach. Walsh-Jennings won gold in each of the last three Olympics, with Misty May Treanor serving as her partner in those triumphs.

Rowing Qualifying Heats – WATCH LIVE

The Games start early when the men’s cycling road race begins at 8:30 am ET, with Team USA’s Taylor Phinney trying to better his fourth-place finish from London as he furiously pedals through the streets of Rio.

Men’s Cycling Individual Road Race – WATCH LIVE

Men’s Water Polo
The United States men’s water polo team, which finished seventh at last year’s World Championships in Kazan, Russia, opens up competition at 8:00 a.m. against Croatia, and the Americans will look to build on a 2016 in which they won silver at the 2016 FINA Water Polo World League in Hong Kong. Croatia finished second in the last World Championships, falling to a Serbian team that enters the Olympics as the favorites to win gold in the gold medal match.

8:00 a.m.: Serbia vs. Hungary (Group A)- WATCH LIVE

9:20 a.m.: United States vs. Croatia (Group B)- WATCH LIVE

10:40 a.m.: Spain vs. Italy (Group B) – WATCH LIVE

12:00 p.m.: Greece vs. Japan (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

6:30 p.m.: France vs. Montenegro (Group B) – WATCH LIVE

7:50 p.m.: Brazil vs. Australia (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

Archery

8:00 a.m.: Men’s Round of 16 – WATCH LIVE

1:00 p.m.: Men’s Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Medal matches – WATCH LIVE

Table Tennis (Singles)

8:00 a.m.: Men’s prelims, Women’s prelims, Women’s round 1 (Table 1) – WATCH LIVE

8:00 a.m.: Men’s prelims, Women’s prelims, Women’s round 1 (Table 2) – WATCH LIVE

8:00 a.m.: Men’s prelims, Women’s prelims, Women’s round 1 (Table 3) – WATCH LIVE

8:00 a.m.: Men’s prelims, Women’s prelims, Women’s round 1 (Table 4) – WATCH LIVE

1:30 p.m.: Men’s round 1, Women’s round 1 (Table 1) – WATCH LIVE

1:30 p.m.: Men’s round 1, Women’s round 1 (Table 2) – WATCH LIVE

1:30 p.m.: Men’s round 1, Women’s round 1 (Table 3) – WATCH LIVE

1:30 p.m.: Men’s round 1, Women’s round 1 (Table 4) – WATCH LIVE

6:00 p.m.: Men’s round 1, Women’s round 2 (Table 1) – WATCH LIVE

6:00 p.m.: Men’s round 1, Women’s round 2 (Table 2) – WATCH LIVE

6:00 p.m.: Men’s round 1, Women’s round 2 (Table 3) – WATCH LIVE

6:00 p.m.: Men’s round 1, Women’s round 2 (Table 4) – WATCH LIVE

Fencing

8:00 a.m.: Blue Piste, Women’s individual epee fencing Rounds of 64, 32, 16 and quarterfinals – WATCH LIVE

8:00 a.m.: Red Piste, Women’s individual epee fencing Rounds of 64, 32, 16 and quarterfinals – WATCH LIVE

8:00 a.m.: Green Piste, Women’s individual epee fencing Rounds of 64, 32, 16 and quarterfinals – WATCH LIVE

8:00 a.m.: Yellow Piste, Women’s individual epee fencing Rounds of 64, 32, 16 and quarterfinals – WATCH LIVE

3:00 p.m.: Women’s individual epee fencing semifinals, bronze medal bout, gold medal bout – WATCH LIVE

Women’s Handball

8:30 a.m.: Norway vs. Brazil (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

10:30 a.m.: Netherlands vs. France (Group B) – WATCH LIVE

1:40 p.m.: Russia vs. South Korea (Group B) – WATCH LIVE

3:40 p.m.: Montenegro vs. Spain (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

6:50 p.m.: Angola vs. Romania (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

8:50 p.m.: Sweden vs. Argentina (Group B) – WATCH LIVE

Women’s Volleyball

8:30 a.m.: Japan vs. South Korea (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

10:30 a.m.: China vs. Netherlands (Group B) – WATCH LIVE

2:00 p.m.: Brazil vs. Cameroon (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

4:00 p.m.: United States vs. Puerto Rico (Group B) – WATCH LIVE

7:30 p.m.: Russia vs. Argentina (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

9:30 p.m.: Serbia vs. Italy (Group B) – WATCH LIVE

Men’s Field Hockey

9:00 a.m.: Argentina vs. Netherlands (Pool B) – WATCH LIVE

10:00 a.m.: India vs. Ireland (Pool B) – WATCH LIVE

11:30 a.m.: Belgium vs. Great Britain (Pool A) – WATCH LIVE

12:30 p.m.: Australia vs. New Zealand (Pool A) – WATCH LIVE

5:00 p.m.: Canada vs. Germany (Pool B) – WATCH LIVE

6:30 p.m.: Spain vs. Brazil (Pool A) – WATCH LIVE

Women’s Field Hockey

4:00 p.m.: United States vs. Argentina – WATCH LIVE

7:30 p.m.: Great Britain vs. Australia – WATCH LIVE

Judo

9:00 a.m.: Prelims and Quarterfinals, Women’s 48kg and Men’s 60kg (Mat 1) – WATCH LIVE

9:00 a.m.: Prelims and Quarterfinals, Women’s 48kg and Men’s 60kg (Mat 2) – WATCH LIVE

2:30 p.m.: Repechage, semifinals and medal matches, Women’s 48kg and Men’s 60kg – WATCH LIVE

Equestrian

9:00 a.m.: Eventing individual and team dressage Day 1 – WATCH LIVE

Men’s Beach Volleyball

9:00 a.m.: Preliminary Match, Carambula/Rangheri (Italy) vs. Doppler/Horst (Austria) – WATCH LIVE

10:00 a.m.: Preliminary Match, Alison/Bruno Schmidt (Brazil) vs. Binstock/Schacter (Canada) – WATCH LIVE

3:30 p.m.: Preliminary Match, Gibb/Patterson (United States) vs. Jefferson/Cherif (Qatar) – WATCH LIVE

4:30 p.m.: Preliminary Match, Brouwer/Meeuwsen (Netherlands) vs. Liamin/Barsouk (Russia)- WATCH LIVE

8:00 p.m.: Preliminary Match, Losiak/Kantor (Poland) vs. Bockermann/Fluggen (Germany) – WATCH LIVE

9:00 p.m.: Preliminary Match, Herrera/Gavira (Spain) vs. Huber/Seidl (Astria) – WATCH LIVE

Women’s Beach Volleyball

11:00 a.m.: Preliminary Match, Bawden/Clancy (Australia) vs. Alfaro/C.Charles (Costa Rica) – WATCH LIVE

12:00 p.m.: Preliminary Match, Elsa/Liliana (Spain) vs. Gallay/Klug (Argentina) – WATCH LIVE

2:30 p.m.: Preliminary Match, Agatha/Barbara (Brazil) vs. Hermannova/Slukova (Czech Republic) – WATCH LIVE

5:30 p.m.: Preliminary Match, Meppelink/Van Iersel (Netherlands) vs. Pazo/Agudo (Venezuela) – WATCH LIVE

10:00 p.m.: Preliminary Match, Forrer/Verge-Depre (Switzerland) vs. Wang/Yue (China) – WATCH LIVE

11:00 p.m.: Preliminary Match, Walsh Jennings/Ross (United States) vs. Artacho Del Solar/Laird (Australia) – WATCH LIVE

Shooting

9:30 a.m.: Women’s 10m air rifle final – WATCH LIVE

2:00 p.m.: Men’s 10m air pistol final – WATCH LIVE

Men’s Gymnastics

9:30 a.m.: Subdivision 1 – WATCH LIVE

9:30 a.m.: Subdivision 1 Floor Exercise – WATCH LIVE

9:30 a.m.: Subdivision 1 Pommel Horse – WATCH LIVE

9:30 a.m.: Subdivision 1 Vault – WATCH LIVE

9:30 a.m.: Subdivision 1 Still Rings – WATCH LIVE

9:30 a.m.: Subdivision 1 Horizontal Bar – WATCH LIVE

9:30 a.m.: Subdivision 1 Parallel Bars – WATCH LIVE

Subdivision 1 teams: Mixed Group 3 (Greece/2, Canada, Cuba/2, Republic of South Africa, Monaco), Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Mixed Group 6 (Lithuania, Belgium, Belarus, Chile, Colombia, Turkey, Israel) and the Netherlands.

1:30 p.m.: Subdivision 2 – WATCH LIVE

1:30 p.m.: Subdivision 2 Floor Exercise – WATCH LIVE

1:30 p.m.: Subdivision 2 Pommel Horse – WATCH LIVE

1:30 p.m.: Subdivision 2 Vault – WATCH LIVE

1:30 p.m.: Subdivision 2 Still Rings – WATCH LIVE

1:30 p.m.: Subdivision 2 Horizontal Bar – WATCH LIVE

1:30 p.m. Subdivision 2 Parallel Bars – WATCH LIVE

Subdivision 2 teams: Great Britain, France, Mixed Group 5 (Hungary, Vietnam, People’s Republic of Korea, Italy), United States, Mixed Group 4 (Norway, Azerbaijan, Chinese Taipei, Armenia, New Zealand), and Germany.

5:30 p.m.: Subdivision 3 – WATCH LIVE

5:30 p.m.: Subdivision 3 Floor Exercise – WATCH LIVE

5:30 p.m.: Subdivision 3 Pommel Horse – WATCH LIVE

5:30 p.m.: Subdivision 3 Vault – WATCH LIVE

5:30 p.m.: Subdivision 3 Still Rings – WATCH LIVE

5:30 p.m.: Subdivision 3 Horizontal Bar – WATCH LIVE

5:30 p.m.: Subdivision 3 Parallel Bars – WATCH LIVE

Subdivision 3 teams: Ukraine, Mixed Group 1 (Croatia, Mexico, Uzbekistan, Czech Republic, Algeria, Ireland), Switzerland, China, Mixed Group 2 (Romania/2, Finland, Spain/2, Cypress, Portugal) and Russia.

Tennis

9:45 a.m.: Men’s singles first round, Ramos-Vinolas (Spain) vs. Nishikori (Japan) – WATCH LIVE

10:00 a.m. Women’s singles first round, Keys (United States) vs. Kovinic (Montenegro) – WATCH LIVE

10:00 a.m.: Women’s singles first round, Strycova (Czech Republic) vs. Wick mayer (Belgium) – WATCH LIVE

10:00 a.m.: Women’s singles first round, Errani (Italy) vs. Bertens (Netherlands) – WATCH LIVE

10:00 a.m.: Men’s singles first round, Berankis (Lithuania) vs. Millman (Australia) – WATCH LIVE

12:00 p.m.: Women’s singles first round, Ivanovic (Serbia) vs. Navarro (Spain) – WATCH LIVE

12:00 p.m.: Men’s singles first round, Dimitrov (Bulgaria) vs. Cilic (Croatia) – WATCH LIVE

12:00 p.m.: Men’s singles first round, Sock (United States) vs. Taro (Japan) – WATCH LIVE

12:00 p.m.: Women’s singles first round, Wilson (Great Britain) vs. Peng (China) – WATCH LIVE

12:00 p.m.: Women’s singles first round, Bacsinszky (Switzerland) vs. Zhang (China) – WATCH LIVE

2:00 p.m.: Men’s singles first round, Jaziri (Turkey) vs. Tsonga (France) – WATCH LIVE

2:00 p.m.: Women’s singles first round, Zheng (Canada) vs. Radwanska (Poland) – WATCH LIVE

2:00 p.m.: Men’s singles first round, King (Barbados) vs. Johnson (United States) – WATCH LIVE

2:00 p.m.: Men’s singles first round, Baker (United States) vs. Sugita (Japan) – WATCH LIVE

4:00 p.m.: Men’s singles first round, Coric (Croatia) vs. Simon (France) – WATCH LIVE

4:00 p.m.: Women’s singles first round, Bouchard (Canada) vs. Stephens (United States) – WATCH LIVE

4:00 p.m.: Men’s singles first round, Dzumhur (Bosnia & Herzegovina) vs. Sela (Israel) – WATCH LIVE

5:45 p.m.: Women’s singles first round, Flipkens (Belgium) vs. V. Williams (United States) – WATCH LIVE

8:00 p.m.: Men’s singles first round, Monfils (France) vs. Pospisil (Canada) – WATCH LIVE

Boxing Carlos Balderas in morning session, Nico Hernandez in evening session

10:00 a.m.: Men’s Prelims (Light flyweight, flyweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight) – WATCH LIVE

4:00 p.m.: Men’s Prelims (Light flyweight, flyweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight) – WATCH LIVE

Rugby

10:00 a.m.: France vs. Spain (Pool B), New Zealand vs. Kenya (Pool B), Great Britain vs. Brazil (Pool C), Canada vs. Japan (Pool C), United States vs. Fiji (Pool A), Australia vs. Colombia (Pool A) – WATCH LIVE

3:00 p.m.: France vs. Kenya (Pool B), New Zealand vs. Spain (Pool B), Great Britain vs. Japan (Pool C), Canada vs. Brazil (Pool C), United States vs. Colombia (Group A), Australia vs. Fiji (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

Women’s Basketball

11:00 a.m.: Turkey vs. France (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

1:15 p.m.: China vs. Canada (Group B) – WATCH LIVE

4:30 p.m.: Brazil vs. Australia (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

6:45 p.m.: Belarus vs. Japan (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

Men’s Basketball

Day 1 also features the debut of the new-look U.S. men’s basketball team, led by NBA all-stars Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony at 6:00 pm ET. All six teams in Group A are in action Saturday, with the matchup between Australia and France boasting a number of current NBA players including San Antonio Spurs teammates Tony Parker (France) and Patty Mills (Australia).

1:15 p.m.: Australia vs. France (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

6:00 p.m.: United States vs. China (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

9:30 p.m.: Venezuela vs. Serbia (Group A) – WATCH LIVE

Swimming

12:00 p.m.: Heats (Men’s and women’s 400m individual medley; women’s 100m butterfly; men’s 400m freestyle; men’s 100m breaststroke; women’s 4x100m freestyle relay) – WATCH LIVE

9:00 p.m.: Finals (men’s and women’s 400m individual medley; men’s 400m freestyle; women’s 4x100m freestyle relay), women’s 100m butterfly semis, men’s 100m breaststroke semis – WATCH LIVE

Women’s Soccer

The United States’ matchup with France is the headliner on the women’s soccer schedule, with the teams currently ranked first and third respectively in the FIFA rankings. The two clubs met in the group stage of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, with the United States winning by the final score of 4-2 with Alex Morgan scoring twice. France scored twice in the first 14 minutes of the match, with the United States answering with four unanswered goals to grab all three points. Both teams won their opening match in Brazil Wednesday, with the United States beating New Zealand 2-0 and France rolling past Colombia by the final score of 4-0.

2:00 p.m.: Canada vs. Zimbabwe (Group F) – WATCH LIVE

4:00 p.m.: United States vs. France (Group G) – WATCH LIVE

5:00 p.m.: Germany vs. Australia (Group F) – WATCH LIVE

6:00 p.m.: South Africa vs. China (Group E) – WATCH LIVE

7:00 p.m.: Colombia vs. New Zealand (Group G) – WATCH LIVE

9:00 p.m.: Brazil vs. Sweden (Group E ) – WATCH LIVE

Russians stripped of Sochi Olympic skeleton medals; Uhlaender in line for bronze

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Sochi Olympic gold medalist Alexander Tretiyakov and bronze medalist Elena Nikitina of Russia were stripped of their skeleton medals for doping.

It puts the U.S. above Russia atop the Sochi Olympic total medal standings. American Katie Uhlaender is in line for her first Olympic medal.

A full IOC decision is here.

The IOC has stripped Russia of six of its leading 33 medals from the Sochi Winter Games after it commissioned investigations into reports of a state-sponsored doping program leading up to and during the Olympics.

Pending appeals, Latvian Martins Dukurs is in line to be upgraded to men’s skeleton gold, American Matthew Antoine to silver and Latvian Tomass Dukurs to bronze.

In the women’s event, Uhlaender could get her first Olympic medal from her third Games. She originally missed bronze by .04 in Sochi.

“I was half asleep,” Uhlaender said of learning the news at 6 a.m. at a World Cup stop in Whistler, B.C., according to ESPN.com. “I said to [U.S. coach] Tuffy [Latour], ‘Am I dreaming? Is this real?’ And then I got emotional.”

Tretiyakov and Nikitina, as well as two more Russian skeleton sliders sanctioned Wednesday, are disqualified from any future Olympics.

The Russian bobsled and skeleton federation president said the athletes will appeal, according to Russian news agency TASS.

Olga Potylitsina and Maria Orlova, Russians who were fifth and sixth in Sochi, also had their results stripped and were disqualified from future Winter Games.

Previously, the IOC stripped Russian cross-country skiers Alexander Legkov and Maxim Vylegzhanin of their five combined Sochi medals (one each of those medals was won together on a relay).

Russia Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov said he expects Russia to be stripped of its two- and four-man bobsled gold medals, too, according to TASS.

Ten Russian athletes total have been retroactively disqualified from the Sochi Olympics. The IOC will decide on Russia’s participation in the PyeongChang Olympics on Dec. 5.

If all Sochi medals are reallocated, Russia will fall from first to third in the total medal standings. Norway and the U.S. would share the lead with 29 medals.

As it stands, without any reallocations yet, the U.S. has 28 medals, Russia has 27 and Norway has 26.

Tretiyakov and Nikitina were looking like medal contenders for PyeongChang.

Tretiyakov, a 32-year-old nicknamed the “Russian Rocket,” was fourth at last season’s world championships and ranked fourth in this season’s World Cup standings.

He was third in last season’s World Cup standings despite being suspended for one race in January.

Tretiyakov, Nikitina, Potylitsina and Orlova were all provisionally suspended for three weeks last December and January after the IOC began disciplinary proceedings for athletes with “evidence of manipulation of one or more of their urine samples” from Sochi.

The suspensions were lifted after nine days “due to a lack of evidence” from a World Anti-Doping Agency-commissioned report on Russian doping.

Nikitina, 25, leads this season’s World Cup standings after the first two races. She won last weekend’s race in Park City, Utah.

Uhlaender has been waiting for this decision for more than a year, since the first reports of widespread Russian doping from Sochi in spring 2016.

“I understand that it was a difference of culture and that the Russians don’t believe they did anything wrong,” Uhlaender said Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. “But this was the only way to fix it.”

The 33-year-old Uhlaender reportedly had an exchange with Nikitina on Facebook after Nikitina’s name appeared on an athlete list that guided Russian doping violations in Sochi.

“I am not on the list!” Nikitina told Uhlaender in 2016, according to The New York Times. “I hope that the truth will prevail! And the perpetrators of this scandal will be punished!”

Uhlaender said in a phone interview Wednesday that she and Nikitina have not communicated since those Facebook messages.

Both women took training runs in Whistler on Wednesday ahead of a World Cup race Friday.

“It was really awkward,” Uhlaender said. “Nikitina wouldn’t make eye contact with me. Yulia, her teammate, made dirty faces at me. I don’t think it’s worth engaging in. I know the Russians don’t think they did anything wrong, and they believe it’s a conspiracy.”

The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation is still deciding whether to sanction the Russians. As of now, they’re eligible to race in any competition that’s not the Olympics.

Uhlaender shed more tears Wednesday in what’s already been an incredibly difficult 12 months.

On May 6, she was the first to find the late Steven Holcomb, a close friend, unresponsive in his Olympic Training Center room.

“I wish Steve was here,” Uhlaender said Wednesday, according to ESPN. “He would be so elated. He would have broken into my room and woken me up. I miss him so much.”

Last year, she suffered a life-threatening autoimmune attack which put her in and out of the hospital for six weeks.

Doctors asked Uhlaender for her next of kin, she said, according to the Deseret News.

“I was like, ‘Oh, I’m dying,’” Uhlaender said in September, according to the newspaper. “I couldn’t drink, couldn’t eat, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t sleep. … I was hallucinating. Every time I took a breath, it was like someone stabbed me or punched me, so I was having to breathe really shallow. That’s why I thought I wasn’t going to make it.”

Uhlaender returned to her lodging from training in Whistler on Wednesday to find her door decorated by Lolo Jones and other women on the team. “Congrats Oly bronze!” it read in cutout letters.

She entered the room to find a bronze No. 3 balloon, flowers and a picture of Holcomb that she keeps.

Uhlaender doesn’t believe Nikitina should be allowed to race Friday. Nor should she have been allowed to race at all while she was being investigated, Uhlaender said.

She hasn’t had time to think about what will mean the most — this moment, or when the results are officially changed (that could take a while, pending a Nikitina appeal) or when the bronze medal is in her hands.

If there is a make-up medal ceremony, Uhlaender has one request.

“I would definitely want Noelle [Pikus-Pace] and Lizzy [Yarnold] there,” she said of the silver and gold medalists, adding that the retired Pikus-Pace was one of the well-wishers Wednesday.

Martins Dukurs is in line for the first Winter Olympic gold medal for Latvia and the fourth Olympic gold overall for the former Soviet republic.

He was the world No. 1 going into the 2010 and 2014 Olympics but ended up with silver at both Games behind host-nation sliders (Jon Montgomery, Tretiyakov). He has won six of the last seven world championships.

The Dukurs brothers would become the seventh set of siblings to win Winter Olympic medals in the same individual event, according to Olympic historians.

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MORE: Nigeria women’s bobsled team nears historic Olympic berth

Ex-USA Gymnastics doctor pleads guilty to sexual assault

AP
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former doctor accused of molesting girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University pleaded guilty Wednesday to multiple charges of sexual assault and will face at least 25 years in prison.

Larry Nassar, 54, admitted to abusing seven girls, mostly under the guise of treatment at his Lansing-area home and a campus clinic. All but one of his accusers was a gymnast. He faces similar charges in a neighboring county and lawsuits filed by more than 125 women and girls. Nassar lost his license to practice medicine in April.

Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas are among the women who have publicly said they were among Nassar’s victims.

Some of his accusers attended the hearing Wednesday in a packed Ingham County courtroom. Some were crying.

“For all those involved … I’m so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire out of control,” Nassar said. “I pray the rosary every day for forgiveness. I want them to heal. I want the community to heal.”

Nassar admitted to digitally penetrating the victims and agreed that his conduct had no legitimate medical purpose and that he did not have the girls’ consent.

“It is about time that Larry plead [sic] guilty and owned up to his actions,” was posted on Raisman’s social media. “I am beyond disgusted that a decorated Olympic and USA Gymnastics doctor was able to prey upon so many over such a long period of time. Until we fully understand the flaws in the system that allowed this to happen in the first place — and enabled it to continue for decades — we can’t be confident it won’t happen again. We need more than optimistic assurances, we need answers. We need to take a hard, honest look at the sport’s culture, governance, and leadership, so we can understand the problem, and come up with solutions that will make the sport safer for current and future generations. I am determined to work towards real and meaningful change. Abuse is never ok; ONE TIME IS TOO MANY AND ONE PERSON IS TOO MANY. We may never know how many others may be suffering in silence therefore it is important for us to have an environment where it is safe and comfortable for those to come forward.”

The plea deal in Ingham County calls for a minimum prison sentence of 25 years, but a judge could set the minimum sentence as high as 40 years. In Michigan, inmates are eligible for parole after serving a minimum sentence.

Sentencing was set for Jan. 12.

A prosecutor said 125 women and girls have filed complaints with Michigan State University police.

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told Nassar: “You used your position of trust … in the most vile way to abuse children. … I agree that now is a time of healing, but it may take them a lifetime of healing while you spend your lifetime behind bars thinking about what you did in taking away their childhood.”

She called the accusers “superheroes for all of America, because this is an epidemic.”

The girls have testified that Nassar molested them with his hands, sometimes when a parent was present in the room, while they sought help for gymnastics injuries.

After the hearing, one of the accusers, Larissa Boyce, said it was “really hard” to look at Nassar in the courtroom.

“This was a man we trusted. He’s admitting what he did was wrong and evil,” she said.

Separately, Nassar is charged with similar crimes in Eaton County, the location of an elite gymnastics club. He also is awaiting sentencing in federal court on child pornography charges.

The Michigan criminal cases against Nassar followed reports last year in the Indianapolis Star about how USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, mishandled complaints about sexual misconduct involving the doctor and coaches.

Women and girls said the stories inspired them to step forward with detailed allegations of abuse, sometimes when their parents were in the exam room at Michigan State.

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MORE: Aly Raisman in book: ‘Horrible memories’ with Larry Nassar