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Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney shares allegations of sexual assault at hands of team doctor

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By TJH

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney shared the story of her alleged sexual assault at the hands of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar in an emotional statement on Twitter late Tuesday night.

Maroney said she was inspired by the #metoo movement on social media, which has encouraged victims to share their personal stories in order to show the widespread problem of sexual harassment and sexual assault. The hashtag was inspired by the allegations of harassment and assault against movie executive Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein, through a spokesperson, has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

“I was molested by Dr. Larry Nassar, the team doctor for the US Women’s National Gymnastics Team, and Olympic Team,” Maroney said in the statement. “Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving ‘medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years.’

“It started when I was 13 years old, at one of my first National Team training camps, in Texas, and it didn’t end until I left the sport.”

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Maroney, 21, competed in the 2012 Olympics, where she won a gold medal in the team competition and a silver in individual vault. The photo of her smirking on the medal stand as she received her silver medal became a widely shared meme and increased her popularity.

She retired from competition in 2016.

Nassar was charged in February with 22 counts of of criminal sexual conduct, five of which, according to prosecutors, relate to victims who were under 13 years old. The charges relate to his time working at Michigan State, but he also served as team doctor for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team for 19 years.

“This guy is despicable, this guy is disgusting, and he’s a monster,” Bill Schuette, the attorney general of Michigan, told reporters at Nassar’s hearing on Feb. 24.

Nassar is awaiting trial in Michigan. He has entered a not guilty plea.

“It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated,'” Maroney wrote on Twitter. “It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my Silver.

“For me, the scariest night of my life happened when I was 15 years old,” Maroney continued. “I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. 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 proposed four ideas to change the pattern of assault: speaking out; holding “people, institutions, organizations” and “especially those in positions of power” accountable; education and prevention; and, finally, having “zero tolerance for abusers and those who protect them.”

Maroney’s 2012 teammate Aly Raisman has been very public with her concerns about the sexual assault case. In the wake of the charges against Nassar, Raisman slammed U.S. gymnastics’ handling of the case, telling The Associated Press, “I feel like there’s a lot of articles about it, but nobody has said ‘This is horrible, this is what we’re doing to change.'”

USA Gymnastics released a statement saying, “As we have said, we are appalled by the conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused,” adding, “and, we are sorry that any athlete has been harmed during his or her gymnastics career.”

In a statement to ABC News today, USA Gymnastics said it “admires the courage of those, like McKayla Maroney, who have come forward to share their personal experiences with sexual abuse. Because of their strength in coming forward, predators can be held accountable for their actions. We, like so many others, are outraged and disgusted by the conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused. We are sorry that any athlete has been harmed during her or his gymnastics career.”

“We are strengthening and enhancing our policies and procedures regarding abuse, as well as expanding our educational efforts to increase awareness of signs to watch for and reporting suspicions of abuse, including the obligation to immediately report,” the organization added. “USA Gymnastics, its members and community are committed to working together to keep our athletes as safe as possible.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Trump lashes out at NFL for not asking players to stand for national anthem

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By MB

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump took to Twitter Wednesday morning to lash out at the National Football League’s decision not to force players to stand for the national anthem.

The president tweeted, “The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!”

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Trump was reacting to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s announcement on Tuesday that the league would not ask players to commit to standing for the anthem, leaving the current policy unchanged.

“We did not ask for that,” Goodell said at the NFL’s fall meeting at the league’s headquarters in New York. “We spent today talking about the issues that players have been trying to bring attention to –- issues to make our communities better. I think we all agree there’s nothing more important than trying to give back to our communities and make them better. That was the entire focus of today.”

Former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement more than a year ago by refusing to stand while the national anthem played before games to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Since then, athletes across the country and even around the world have joined in the protest.

Kaepernick, now a free agent, recently filed a grievance against the NFL, alleging the league’s owners colluded to keep him out of the league because of his protest actions during the national anthem. The grievance alleges the owners “colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick’s leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice.”

Kaepernick was not invited to attend the league’s quarterly meeting Tuesday, where the national anthem policy was discussed. But Kaepernick’s attorney, Mark Geragos, told ABC News “he absolutely should have been.”

“Certain elements of the executive branch have hijacked this and tried to make this an anti-military or an anti-flag [issue], and that’s not what it is. He’s said from day one that this is about giving rise to social injustice and focusing on social injustice,” Geragos said in an interview this morning with “Good Morning America” anchor Michael Strahan.

“Unfortunately, people want to change the paradigm so to speak or shift over the discussion to make this anti-American; it’s anything but,” Geragos continued. “It’s pro-American it’s trying to make America exactly what it’s supposed to be.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Scoreboard roundup -- 10/17/17

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By Michelle Boncardo

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:

AMERICAN LEAGUE
N-Y Yankees 6 Houston 4

NATIONAL LEAGUE
L-A Dodgers 6 Chi Cubs 1

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Cleveland 102 Boston 99
Houston 122 Golden State 121

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Philadelphia 5 Florida 1
OT Pittsburgh 5 N-Y Rangers 4
Toronto 2 Washington 0
Vancouver 3 Ottawa 0
SO New Jersey 5 Tampa Bay 4
Nashville 4 Colorado 1
Columbus 5 Winnipeg 2
Dallas 3 Arizona 1
Carolina 5 Edmonton 3
OT Vegas 5 Buffalo 4
San Jose 5 Montreal 2

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Celtics' Gordon Hayward injured in season opener

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By KT

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) — The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics’ season opener was highly-anticipated all summer after the wild off-season both teams had.

But within the first quarter of Tuesday night’s game at Quicken Loans Arena, the Celtics’ Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome injury after awkwardly landing on his leg.

Cavs and Celtics fans in the crowd were seen grimacing and Hayward was eventually carted off the court on a stretcher.

It is not yet clear how long Hayward will be out.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Kangaroo boxing match captured on infrared video

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By TJH

ABCNews.com(VICTORIA, Australia) — Australian police captured an intense boxing match between two hopping mad suspects in the bushland of Victoria state Monday night.

Two large kangaroos were seen exchanging blows on footage captured by an infrared camera attached to a police helicopter.

The marsupials’ brawl lasted nearly a minute and included a few jabs and multiple kicks.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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