Kyla Ross and Madison Kocian said they are survivors of Larry Nassar‘s sexual abuse, making it seven out of eight gymnasts between the last two Olympic champion teams to come forward.
Ross, a 2012 Olympian, and Kocian, a 2016 Olympian, spoke at “CBS This Morning” on Thursday.
“It was such a normalized thing that, between us, we didn’t think any different of it,” Kocian said. “We were told that it was a medical procedure. A lot of us had back injuries or hamstring injuries. That was our only option because he was our team doctor. That was our only avenue to accomplish our Olympic dreams. So, if we were to speak up, you probably wouldn’t have been in consideration for making that team.”
Ross said she wants an apology from USA Gymnastics.
“At first, hearing all the news about Larry, I really was in denial of it ever happening to me,” she said. “When I was 13, when it first happened to me, I believed that it was a legitimate form of treatment, but as the years have gone on and hearing all the impact statements of all the girls that have come forward already, I’ve realized that it was something terrible that happened to us.”
Previously, all of Ross’ London Olympic teammates said they are survivors — Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber. And three of Kocian’s four Rio Olympic teammates — Simone Biles, Douglas and Raisman.
“It was almost like a family member, and on international trips he would bring us food or he would just kind of be the person that would always ask how are you doing, because the culture that was at the Karolyi ranch was a culture of fear, a culture of silence,” Kocian said. “That’s what let him to be able to abuse us.”
Ross and Kocian are rising juniors on UCLA’s gymnastics team. They are not competing on the elite level and thus not entered in this week’s U.S. Gymnastics Championships.
Ross earned world all-around silver and bronze medals in 2013 and 2014. Kocian is an Olympic uneven bars silver medalist and 2015 World champion on bars.
“USA Gymnastics’ support is unwavering for Kyla, Madison and all athletes who courageously came forward to share their experiences,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement, according to CBS. “Their powerful voices and stories will continue to be a basis for our future decisions.”
Nassar, 55, will likely never get out of prison. Once his 60-year federal term for child porn possession ends, he would begin serving the 40- to 175-year sentence in state prison after at least 169 women and girls provided statements in his January sentencing.
Athletes accused him of sexually abusing them under the guise of medical treatment, including while he worked for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.