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USOC interim CEO suggests why incoming CEO snubbed Aly Raisman

Asher Fair
185   //    26 Jul 2018, 12:31 IST

Senate Commerce Committee Holds Hearing On Protecting And Empowering U.S. Amateur Athletes
Aly Raisman at the Senate Commerce Committee Holds Hearing On Protecting And Empowering U.S. Amateur Athletes

After Tuesday's two-hour Senate hearing pertaining to the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal concluded, incoming United States Olympic Committee (USOC) CEO Sarah Hirshland completely snubbed two-time Olympic gymnast and six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman when Raisman attempted to approach her and introduced herself.

More than 300 people have accused Nassar, the 54-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician, of sexual assault, and Raisman is one of them. A total of 85 of the people who have accused Nassar of sexual assault attended this hearing in Washington, D.C.

Nassar has been issued three lengthy prison sentences for his predatory actions. He is currently serving the 60-year federal prison sentence that he was issued in December on three child pornography charges, and he is doing so at United States Penitentiary, Tucson in Tucson, Arizona, where he was physically assaulted within hours of being released to the general population of the prison for the first time earlier this week since he arrived there over five months ago.

He was also sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in state prison on seven sexual assault charges in January, and he was sentenced to between an additional 40 and 125 years in state prison on three more sexual assault charges in February.

As far as Raisman's encounter with Hirshland after the Senate hearing concluded goes, here is the three-time Olympic gold medalist's account of what happened, according to Sports Illustrated.

"I said, ‘Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me,' and she kind of ignored me, but I was like, 'excuse me'. So she looked at me because I wasn’t going to let her leave. I said, 'I’d really like to introduce myself to you.' She’s like, 'I’ve been instructed I can’t talk to you.' So I said, 'You can’t just say hi to me?' She said no and then rushed out."

Hirshland was hired to be the new USOC CEO on Thursday, July 12. Former USOC CEO Scott Blackmun resigned in February in the wake of the fallout from the Nassar scandal. He cited ongoing health issues resulting from his prostate cancer as his reason for stepping down.

Lynn Raisman, the mother of the 24-year-old Needham, Massachusetts native, asked USOC interim CEO Susanne Lyons, who Hirshland is scheduled to officially replace on Monday, August 20, about why Hirshland totally snubbed her daughter when her daughter attempted to introduce herself to the incoming USOC CEO.

According to Think Progress, she asked Lyons whether Hirshland had "been instructed by the USOC not to talk to all survivors present, or just Raisman?"


Raisman's mother stated that Lyons told her that Hirshland was not given any instructions not to talk with the survivors, including Raisman, in attendance at this hearing. However, Lyons's possible excuse for why Hirshland may have completely snubbed Rai is beyond ridiculous.

Here is what Lyons's excuse for why this may have happened was, according to Lindsay Gibbs of Think Progress.

"Lyons told [Lynn] Faber [Raisman] that perhaps Hirshland had merely mistaken Raisman — a two-time Olympic champion who was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a turquoise ribbon and the phrase: 'We are here, we have our voices and are not going anywhere' — as a member of the media, which is why she refused to talk."
Asher Fair
Beyond the Flag Expert/Editor Sportskeeda Senior Analyst SportsPress Owner
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