Tasha Schwikert is at least the ninth Olympian to come forward as a Larry Nassar survivor.
“After months of grappling with the decision, I have decided to come forward as a victim of Larry Nassar,” was tweeted from the 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Schwikert’s account. “I want to join my former teammates and fellow survivors to help enact REAL change at @USAGym and @TeamUSA.
“I refuse to remain a victim. It is time for @USAGym and @TeamUSA to come clean and be held accountable for the toxic environment that enabled Nassar’s abuse. Only then will we see REAL change.”
Schwikert, now 33, was the youngest woman on the 2000 Olympic team across all sports, the U.S. all-around champion in 2001 and 2002, the 2003 World champion team captain and an alternate for the 2004 Olympic team.
Schwikert also said that ex-USA Gymnastics president and CEO Steve Penny pressed her to publicly support USA Gymnastics at the height of the Nassar scandal, according to ABC’s “World News Tonight.”
Penny was arrested Wednesday and indicted on charges he tampered with evidence in the Nassar sexual-assault investigation and on Thursday banned for life from USA Gymnastics. Penny’s lawyers said he is “confident that when all the facts are known it will be shown that he did nothing criminal.”
“Steve had always manipulated all of us, really, but I felt indebted to him,” Schwikert said on ABC. “Him and USA Gymnastics made me feel like if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be the person or the athlete who I was.”
She is at least the second member of the Sydney 2000 team to come forward as a Nassar survivor, joining Jamie Dantzscher, the first Olympian to do so in February 2017.
USA Gymnastics posted a statement from Schwikert on social media the night Dantzscher’s first interview aired, saying, “As a member of the national team from 1999-2004, I firmly believe USA Gymnastics always had my health and well-being top of mind. The program provided me with the resources and experiences that helped me achieve my goals.”
Penny resigned a month later.
Seven of the eight members of the 2012 or 2016 Olympic women’s artistic gymnastics teams have also come forward — Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber, Kyla Ross and Madison Kocian. As have world championships team members among the hundreds of girls and women who said Nassar sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment when he worked for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.