Gabby Douglas

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Gabby Douglas: ‘We were abused by Larry Nassar’

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Gabby Douglas is the third member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team to say she was abused by then-USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

“It would be like saying that because of the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar,” was part of a post on Douglas’ Instagram on Tuesday apologizing for a Friday tweet that generated criticism. “I didn’t publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because for years we were conditioned to stay silent and honestly some things were extremely painful.”

They marked Douglas’ first public comments about Nassar since many gymnasts said starting last year that the doctor sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment.

It wasn’t totally clear from her post whether Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around champion, said she was abused, but one of her representatives confirmed it, according to multiple reports.

Douglas’ post came four days after her comment on teammate Aly Raisman‘s tweet generated criticism (see below).

Raisman said two weeks ago that she was sexually abused by Nassar while on the national team.

A third 2012 Olympian, McKayla Maroney, said last month that she was sexually abused by Nassar during her national-team career.

Nassar is in jail in Michigan awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.

He’s also awaiting trial on separate criminal sexual conduct charges and has been sued by more than 125 women alleging abuse.

Nassar pleaded not guilty to the assault charges but is expected to change pleas to guilty Wednesday and on Nov. 29 in bids to close criminal cases against him.

“We are appalled by the conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused, and we are very sorry that any athlete has been harmed during her or his gymnastics career,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement last week. “Aly’s passion and concern for athlete safety is shared by USA Gymnastics. Our athletes are our priority, and we are committed to promoting an environment of empowerment that encourages speaking up, especially on difficult topics like abuse, as well the protection of athletes at all levels throughout our gymnastics community.”

Douglas last competed at the Rio Olympics and has not publicly said whether she will return to competition.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Final Five: Where is Olympic gymnastics team now?

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The Final Five gathers at the P&G Championships this weekend, but the gold-medal-winning gymnasts will not be in competition leotards.

Simone BilesGabby DouglasAly RaismanLaurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian are set to be inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in Anaheim on Saturday.

They will also be honored inside the Honda Center on Sunday, following the final day of competition.

But for the first time since 2008, zero Olympians are entered at a national championships.

Will any of them come back before the Tokyo Games? A look at where each gymnast stands, one year after they dominated in Rio:

P&G CHAMPS: Men’s Preview | Women’s Preview |
TV Schedule | Final Five Updates

Simone Biles
Four golds, one bronze in Rio

The Olympic all-around champion reportedly said in January that she plans to return to training at the end of 2017 or early 2018.

“I don’t know [what year] I’ll be back for the world championships,” Biles said then, according to the Houston Chronicle. “I have to get in shape, and we have trials for worlds, but hopefully the next goal after if I make worlds teams and championships is the Olympics again.”

Biles’ longtime coach, Aimee Boorman, moved from Texas to Florida after Rio.

Gabby Douglas
Three Olympic medals, all gold

The 2012 Olympic all-around champion is the lone member of the Final Five who has not committed to returning to training.

“We’ll see. I mean, right now, it’s up in the air,” Douglas said last month. “I’m enjoying the time off.”

After the London Games, Douglas returned to training the following spring, bouncing around the country before ultimately landing in Ohio for her return to competition in March 2015.

“This time is different because I’ve been to two Olympics, and I always wanted to go to two Olympics,” Douglas said. “But right now since I’ve been doing gymnastics for 14 years, I am taking this time off, especially growing into my own person.”

Aly Raisman
Six Olympic medals, three gold

The senior member of the Final Five — Raisman is 23 — was the first team member to commit to another Olympic run. Last September, Raisman said she planned to take a year off.

“I’m going to take off a little bit of time, just because I think I need a little bit of a break,” Raisman said on “Ellen” two weeks after the Rio Closing Ceremony. “I took a full year off in 2012 [after the London Olympics]. I’m going to do the same thing.”

If Raisman repeats the plan from the last Olympic cycle, she would train in 2018 and return to competition in 2019.

Laurie Hernandez
Olympic team gold, balance beam silver

Hernandez, after winning “Dancing with the Stars,” said she planned to return to the sport but did not have a set date.

“I plan on easing back into [gymnastics training] at the end of the summer,” she said, according to an Inside Gymnastics report in June. “I think mentally and physically I needed a break, but I’m ready to get back at it soon.”

Madison Kocian
Olympic team gold, uneven bars silver

Kocian is the lone member of the team who has competed since Rio, but it wasn’t on the elite stage. The Texan did a full freshman season for UCLA with a torn labrum and partially torn rotator cuff in her shoulder.

Most women retire from elite international competition when they choose the NCAA route. Kocian had not yet, as of June, but is taking this summer off.

“I know I have accomplished so much already,” she said in June. “It’s just a matter of if I feel like I need to do anything else before closing that door. It’s still open. I could stop in college after next year and start training [elite], or finish my four years in college and continue my life.”

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MORE: Biles gets her own gymnastics meet

For Gabby Douglas, this break from gymnastics is different

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Gabby Douglas has been away from gymnastics training for nearly one year now, her longest break since she took up the sport at age 6.

The 2012 Olympic all-around champion has not retired, but unlike Final Five teammates Simone BilesAly Raisman and Laurie Hernandez, has no set plan to return to the gym. Yet.

“We’ll see. I mean, right now, it’s up in the air,” Douglas said while promoting Post-it’s “Make it Stick” back-to-school initiative on Wednesday. “I’m enjoying the time off.”

At this time in the last Olympic cycle, Douglas had already returned to coach Liang Chow‘s gym in West Des Moines, Iowa, for two months. However, she would leave for Los Angeles in summer 2013 before ultimately landing in Ohio for her return to competition in March 2015.

It was all different five years ago. Today is the fifth anniversary of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony.

Douglas rose from out of nowhere — compared to Simone Biles, who dominated from 2013 through Rio — to win her Olympic all-around title and then repeatedly said the rest of summer 2012 that she planned a run to Rio.

“This time is different because I’ve been to two Olympics, and I always wanted to go to two Olympics,” Douglas said Wednesday. “But right now since I’ve been doing gymnastics for 14 years, I am taking this time off, especially growing into my own person.”

Douglas confirmed she’s keeping her gymnastics options open by saying she’s still filling out whereabouts forms for drug testing. Generally, Olympic medalists make their retirements official by filing paperwork to take their names out of a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency testing pool (see Michael Phelps).

But her focus is clearly outside of the gym for the forseeable future. Douglas began taking acting classes in Los Angeles in June, like fellow gymnastics medalist Danell Leyva (who doesn’t plan to come back).

Her ultimate goal is to appear in movies.

“It’s the same, but different,” Douglas said of acting versus gymnastics. “You have to expose your vulnerability a little bit in acting classes.”

Douglas is aware that 2012 and 2016 Olympic teammate Aly Raisman hopes to make a third Olympic team in 2020. Does Douglas think Raisman is inspirational or just crazy?

“It’s whatever you want to do,” she said, “whatever you want to achieve.”

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MORE: Kocian competed at Olympics, for UCLA with shoulder injury