Simone Biles retweet suggests Larry Nassar sexual abuse behind Games withdrawal

A retweet from American gymnast Simone Biles suggests that sexual abuse she received from former US team doctor Larry Nassar is the reason behind her mental health struggles.

The 24-year-old has announced her decision to pull out of the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, and she will not compete in any of the five individual finals she was due to take part in on Thursday.

Nassar, 57, was convicted of sexually violating numerous young athletes over multiple decades, and was sentenced for up to 175 years in prison.

Biles claimed that she was one of those who was abused, and has opened up in the past about her experiences.

And on Wednesday she retweeted a statement from her fellow gymnast Andrea Orris discussing her decision to pull out of the Games which read: "It makes me so frustrated to see comments about Simone not being mentally tough enough or quitting on her team.

"We are talking about the same girl who was molested by her team doctor throughout her entire childhood and teen years."

The statement went on to add: "That girl has endured more trauma by the age of 24 than most people will ever go through in a lifetime.

"We will never know or fully understand her personal choices and struggles."

Meanwhile Biles' boyfriend Jonathan Owens, who plays in the NFL for the Houston Texans, also took to social media to make a pointed statement about the issue.

He posted on Instagram a quote from baseball legend Babe Ruth which read: "The loudest boos will always come from the cheap seats.

"People who invest the least in you will have the most to say about you. Trust your work and keep your circle tight!"

After withdrawing Biles herself said: "After the performance I did, I just didn't want to go on. I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now.

"We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.

"I don't trust myself as much anymore. Maybe it's getting older. There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world.

"We're not just athletes. We're people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back."

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