Aly Raisman blasts USA Gymnastics for appointing onetime Nassar defender to prominent post

USA Gymnastics’ new elite development coordinator, Mary Lee Tracy, once stood up for Larry Nassar after more than 50 gymnasts and patients had accused the former team doctor of sexual abuse.

In December 2016, Tracy, who is the owner of Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, told local TV station WCPO of Nassar: "My Olympians have all worked with Larry. We were all defending him because he has helped so many kids in their careers. He has protected them, taken care of them, worked with me and worked with their parents. He's been amazing."

As of right now, more than 260 athletes have accused Nassar of sexual abuse under the guise of medical treatment. He currently is serving a 60-year federal term for possession of child pornography and has also received two sentences of at least 40 years each for his serial sexual abuse.

Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, a Nassar accuser and outspoken critic of USA Gymnastics’ handling of the scandal, spoke out against the appointment of Tracy to her new post Wednesday on Twitter.

“USA Gymnastics has appointed someone who, in my view, supported Nassar, victim-shamed survivors, & has shown no willingness to learn from the past,” Raisman tweeted. “This is a slap in the face for survivors, & further confirmation that nothing at @USAG has changed. What a profound disappointment!”

Raisman also retweeted Tracy’s 2016 quote defending Nassar.

Raisman’s mother, Lynn Raisman, tweeted of Tracy on Tuesday night: “Supported Nassar. Shamed Victims. Puts her reputation above athletes. Same old USAG. Shameful.”

Another former gymnast and Nassar accuser, Chelsea Kroll Williams, tweeted of Tracy: “At USAG sanctioned events and camps, at least one of her athletes was abused by Larry Nassar. She supported him even when it was very clear that she shouldn’t. This is maddening.”

USA Gymnastics announced Tracy as development coordinator on Tuesday, calling her “well-known throughout the gymnastics community for her passion for inspiring and developing self-esteem, confidence and courage in young women.”

In her new job, “Tracy will oversee the developmental pipeline for women’s gymnastics,” the announcement said. She replaces Tom Forster, who has been filling the role on an interim basis.

charles.schilken@latimes.com

Twitter: @chewkiii

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