US Olympic gymnasts Kocian and Ross join long list of Larry Nassar accusers
Over the course of the last 18 months, the range of horrific crimes committed by Nassar have come to light. When they examined their own interactions with him, Olympians Ross and Kocian became aware that they too were subject to abuse.
Nassar has been handed what is effectively a life sentence for a range of crimes including child pornography and sexual abuse charges and both Kocian and Ross were keen to state that it is never too late to come forward.
“Everyone copes in their own way,” said Ross, a member of the famous ‘Fierce Five’ who won gold at the 2012 London Olympics.
“It doesn't matter how old you are and what happens to you. I've come to the point in my life this is something I want to share my story and move on,” she continued, as quoted by AP.
Both athletes, who have retired from elite gymnastics and now compete at UCLA, say that they were in a state of denial as to the nature of their abuse. Earlier this year, more than 200 women came forward to accuse Nassar of significant abuse.
All five members of the 2012 US Olympic team now say that they were sexually assaulted by Nassar, while Kocian is the fourth member of the 2016 to do the same.
“You live under a fear of not being able to speak up because this was our only avenue to accomplish our dreams and make the Olympic team,” Kocian said to of the culture in the US gymnastic when they were competing at the Olympic level.
“There are still people at the top that I feel have overseen this issue for a long time and I think that needs to be changed as well as the whole culture around everything," Kocian said.
"I don't think enough has been changed from the coaching standpoint. There are still coaches under that abusive style of coaching whether it's verbal abuse, that's what enables all of this.”