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USA Gymnastics haven't apologised or committed to reform | Mark Alesia on Athlete A

Investigative reporter Mark Alesia feels there's been a lack of a meaningful apology from USA Gymnastics for the abuse suffered by young female gymnasts. 

Over 300 female gymnasts across the USA claimed to have been sexually assaulted by gym owners, coaches, and staff working for gymnastics programs across two decades.

The prosecution of former Olympic doctor Larry Nassar is the focus of a Netflix documentary, 'Athlete A', which was released last month.

Alesia was part of the team at the Indianapolis Star which broke the Larry Nassar story, despite facing pushback from USA Gymnastics and the police.

"I haven't seen anything that was close to the type of apology, a direct apology and admission of failures," the reporter told Nathan Murphy on Off The Ball when asked about a lack of an apology from gymnastic's governing body in America and a lack of reform at the organisation.

"They've gone through two or three presidents since Steve Penny, the survivors hear these statements from USA Gymnastics about the bravery of survivors and thank you for coming forward and they kinda scoff at those.

"The survivors certainly don't trust USA Gymnastics, they want it de-certified and for things to start over from the ground up.

Survivors have turned down an offer of $82,000 each to settle their claims by withdrawing their allegations against  former president and CEO of USA Gymnastics Steve Penny.

"The offer to the survivors was contingent on letting Steve Penny off the hook and others in exchange for settling this whole thing," Alesia said of that decision by the women.

"They said no way, there's a very strong lawyer who is in the movie a lot, John Manly, he was Jamie Dantzscher's attorney at the start and become the attorney for many of these women. He's a really, really strong voice.

"He's consistently on twitter calling out all the b-s that comes from USA Gymnastics and its apologists.

Over 100 of Nassar's victims read out impact statements during his sentencing.

"The survivors said being able to face Nassar and say what they wanted was helpful," Alesia added. "And the person who gets credit for that is the prosecutor, Angie Povilaitis.

"She not only won the guilty plea, she was also the one who said, 'any of survivors who wants to speak, they'll get the chance to do it at the sentencing hearing'.

"Nassar's side agreed, thinking it would probably be only a few, but it was around 150. It was really poignant."

Alesia, who is now the Director of Communications at Indianapolis State, revealed that the reporters at Indianapolis Star faced resistance from the local police force while looking into the case.

"It's unclear to me why there haven't been more investigations by law enforcement, even in Indianapolis. There were police connections to (former president and CEO of USA Gymnastics) Steve Penny.

"There was an officer who basically told us that we were barking up the wrong tree. He said that we were interpreting it wrong, 'the person who said it was crazy and you're barking up the wrong tree'.

"We're waiting for Steve Penny to face trial and justice.  The victims haven't simply let this go."

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