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Olympics star Gabby Douglas says team doctor Larry Nassar abused her

Gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas is the third member of the "Fierce Five" to say she was abused by Dr. Larry Nassar.
Image: Gabby Douglas
Gabby Douglas competes on the beam during the women's qualifications at the Rio Olympics on Aug. 7, 2016.MIKE BLAKE / Reuters

Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas revealed in an Instagram post on Tuesday that she was abused by former team doctor Larry Nassar, who is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges on Wednesday.

The disclosure came in a new apology for a tweet last week in which Douglas said women have a responsibility to dress modestly because "dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd."

"I didn't view my comments as victim shaming because I know that no matter what you wear, it NEVER gives anyone the right to harass or abuse you," she wrote in her Instagram statement.

"It would be like saying that because of the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar," she added.

A representative for the Olympian confirmed the authenticity of the post and that Douglas says she was molested by Nassar, who was first publicly accused of preying on athletes more than a year ago. In her post, Douglas explained why she had not joined the other accusers until now.

“I didn't publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because for years we were conditioned to stay silent and honestly some things were extremely painful,” she wrote. “I wholeheartedly support my teammates for coming forward with what happened to them."

In recent weeks, two other members of the 2012 team — McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman — have said they were molested by Nassar, who is accused of sexually abusing more than 130 women under the guise of invasive exams and treatments.

On Friday, Raisman tweeted that abuse victims should never be blamed because of how they dress. "What is wrong with some of you?" she wrote.

Douglas then replied to Raisman's tweet with this comment: "however it is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy. dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd."

That brought a withering response from fellow gymnast Simone Biles, who competed with Douglas and Raisman on the 2016 team and who said it "shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me."

Douglas apologized soon after, and elaborated in her Tuesday post. "I understand that many of you didn't know what I was dealing with," she wrote, "but it is important to me that you at least know this. I do not advocate victim shaming/blaming in any way, shape or form!"

Her comments come on the eve of an appearance by Nassar in a Michigan courtroom. Though he pleaded not guilty to sexual assaulting former patients, he is now scheduled for a plea hearing in one county on Wednesday and in another next week, suggesting he is changing his plea. His attorneys have declined to comment, citing a gag order.

Nassar is set to be sentenced next month in a federal child pornography case and faces scores of lawsuits.