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Friday, January 15, 2021
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U.S. team heading in positive direction from dark place, says Biles

The Texas-based 22-year-old, winner of a record-equalling four gold medals at the Rio Olympics, was one of more than 100 gymnasts who say they were abused by former Gymnastics USA doctor Larry Nassar who was jailed last year.

Gymnastics USA, criticised for failing to safeguard the welfare of its athletes and subject of dozens of lawsuits by victims of Nassar, appointed Li Li Leung as its fourth new CEO in two years in January.

Speaking ahead of the Superstars of Gymnastics event taking place in London on Saturday (March 23), Biles, who in October won four golds at the world championships just month after returning from a two-year break, said she was encouraged by their response.

“I think it’s going in a positive direction so I think that’s good,” Biles told Reuters close to the Thames-side O2 Arena which will host Saturday’s event.

“We’re all very hopeful that they’re making the right decisions so that we can kind of get out of that dark place.”

Biles received widespread admiration when going public about being abused by Nassar and was, along with other victims, awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage award.

Biles, heralded as the greatest gymnast of all time, will perform exhibition routines at the Superstars of Gymnastics event, with her role chiefly as part of the judging-panel that will use an “out of 10” scoring system.

It will be an enjoyable distraction before the serious business of the countdown to Tokyo. She admits to tough times since returning to action although her four golds in Doha suggest she is back to her dazzling best.

Biles says Tokyo will “definitely” be her last Olympics — but says first she must get selected.

(Production: Andy Ragg)

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