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Aly Raisman calls for greater transparency from USA Gymnastics after sexual abuse scandal

On Monday, USA Gymnastics president and chief executive Steve Penny pleaded not guilty to charges of tampering with evidence in the Larry Nassar case.
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Gymnastic champion Aly Raisman claims USA Gymnastics and its former president and chief executive Steve Penny prioritized covering up the sexual abuse that was pervasive in the organization rather than its gymnasts.

Just one day after Olympic medalist Tasha Schwikert and her sister, former U.S national team gymnast Jordan Schwikert, announced civil suits against the organization and U.S. Olympic Committee for allegedly failing to prevent sexual abuse by team doctor Larry Nassar, Raisman said problems with USA Gymnastics go beyond Nassar and Penny.

"I never imagined it would be this bad. I think that what I was just thinking about over the last year is just there hasn’t been a full investigation by law enforcement and that is just absolutely absurd," Raisman said in an exclusive interview with "Today" on Tuesday.

On Monday, Penny pleaded not guilty to charges of tampering with evidence in the Nassar case. He's accused of ordering documents be removed from Karolyi Ranch, where the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center is located, when he learned it was being investigated.

Penny's lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said on Monday that Penny has never seen the documents, does not know their contents nor their location.

Hardin declined to comment to NBC News about Raisman's claims.

The Schwikert sisters say they were abused by Nassar, who was sentenced in February to up to 125 years in prison. Nassar pleaded guilty to the molestation of 10 victims but has been accused of sexual abuse by more than 250 young women and men.

In a statement, USA Gymnastics said it was “deeply sorry” that the Schwikert sisters or any athletes were abused.

“The organization has undergone significant reforms in the wake of his horrific acts that have impacted our athletes and community forever,” the statement said.

Raisman called on USA Gymnastics for greater transparency and asked that a thorough investigation into the organization be conducted.

"There is no new USA gymnastics until we understand every single thing that happened because we can’t trust USA Gymnastics because they’re not being transparent," Raisman said.

New unspecified allegations have come out against a USA Gymnastics tumbling and trampoline coach, which forced the coach to resign. It was not immediately clear what the coach is accused of.

"She just said unspecified reasons, we don’t even know what it is. How can USA Gymnastics or the community believe them or know how to help?" Raisman said.

USA Gymnastics has changed its leadership three times over the last year.

After Penny resigned and later arrested following an indictment on felony charges of tampering with evidence in the Nassar case, Kerry Perry took the helm of USA Gymnastics. Perry then left the job after nine months on the job and was replaced by Mary Bono, who quickly stepped down following a controversial tweet anti-Nike tweet about NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

But Raisman said regardless of the organization's leadership, things won't improve for the organization until an investigation is conducted.

"Although they got a new board, I'm feeling like this board it's more important to them to protect and fix this PR problem that they have but they need to understand that this is a child abuse problem and it is so widespread and so far-reaching," Raisman said.

Raisman said she still worries the same bad influences that created Larry Nassar exist in USA Gymnastics because of the lack of an investigation.

"If you are not transparent, you cannot learn from your mistakes," she said.