Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney said disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar tried to bribe her and her fellow teammates with food in order to gain their trust.
Maroney, 22, claimed that Nassar would show compassion by giving her food during competitions, the New York Post reported Thursday. The 2012 London Olympic gold medalist said he took advantage of her vulnerability, in a “Dateline” interview with NBC “Today” host Savannah Guthrie airing Sunday at 7 p.m., NBC News reported.
“I think I would’ve starved at the Olympics if I didn’t have him bring me food,” Maroney told Guthrie. He would buy her a loaf of bread after not being allowed to eat during competitions.
“He would bring us food and coffee at the Olympics when we were hungry. I didn’t know that these were all grooming techniques that he used to manipulate and brainwashing me into trusting him,” Maroney added in the interview, Yahoo! Lifestyle reported.
The renowned gymnast also claimed that Nassar molested her hundreds of times beginning when she was only 13 years old. Nassar allegedly gave Maroney a sleeping pill during a 2011 flight to Tokyo for the world championships.
“He’d given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a ‘treatment.’ I thought I was going to die that night,” Maroney said.
“I think I would’ve starved at the Olympics if I didn’t have him [Nassar] bring me food.” @McKaylaMaroney opens up about the competitive gymnastics culture to @savannahguthrie. More on @datelineNBC Sunday night pic.twitter.com/JlWluizD8g
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 19, 2018
Nassar is accused of abusing over 260 young women and girls. He is currently spending his life in a federal prison in Arizona.
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