Olympic gold gymnast Gabby Douglas came forward Tuesday with allegations that former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused her, joining a list of other females who have accused the doctor of sexual misconduct.
In an Instagram post, the 2012 Olympic all-around champion and three-time gold medalist, wrote she waited so long to reveal the abuse by Nassar because she was part of a group “conditioned to stay silent.”
The post included Douglas’ apology in regards to comments she made last week about how women should “dress modestly and be classy” in response to fellow Olympic gold gymnast Aly Raisman’s accusations against Nassar.
Douglas, 21, said she didn’t see her comment as victim-shaming, “because I know that no matter what you wear, it NEVER gives anyone the right to harass or abuse you. It would be like saying that because of the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar.”
“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,” Douglas continued.
The three-time Olympic gold medalist added: “I wholeheartedly support my teammates for coming forward with what happened to them.”
Douglas caused controversy on social media Friday after she tweeted it’s a responsibility for “women to dress modestly and be classy. Dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd.”
Douglas posted the since-deleted tweet after Raisman detailed some of the reaction to her accusations against Nassar.
"Just to be clear," Raisman posted on Friday. "Just because a woman does a sexy photoshoot or wears a sexy outfit does not give a man the right to shame her or not believe her when she comes forward about sexual abuse."
Douglas apologized later Friday and said her comment was not correctly worded.
"[R]egardless of what you wear, abuse under any circumstance is never acceptable. [I] am WITH you," said Douglas, who concluded her post with the "#MeToo" hashtag.
The tweet drew a response from Simone Biles, who set the gymnastics world alight by winning four gold medals at last year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“Shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me,” Biles tweeted. “Honestly seeing this brings me to tears (because) as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her. I support you Aly & all the other women out there!”
In Douglas’ statement Tuesday, she said that she doesn’t “advocate victim shaming/blaming in any way, shape or form!”
“Please forgive me for not being more responsible with how I handled the situation,” Douglas wrote. “I have learned from this and I’m determined to be even better.”
The USA Gymnastics tweeted Wednesday that they "admired" Douglas' and her other teammates "strength" by speaking out against a "predator." The organization also stated they have taken "specific and concrete steps to prevent future abuse by adopting the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy."
Nassar, 54, has been accused of molesting several girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, including Raisman and Olympic teammate McKayla Maroney. He was facing similar charges in a neighboring Michigan county and lawsuits filed by more than 125 women and girls.
The sports doctor pleaded guilty Wednesday to multiple charges of sexual assault and will face at least 25 years in prison.
Girls who have testified against him said Nassar molested them with his hands when they needed medical attention for gymnastics injuries — sometimes while a parent was in the room with them.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.