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Former Olympian McKayla Maroney compares her team USA gymnastics experience to Britney Spears's conservatorship battle

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An image of McKayla Maroney and Britney Spears.
McKayla Maroney and Britney Spears. Mike Coppola/Getty Images/Getty
  • Former team USA gymnast McKayla Maroney compared her career to Britney Spears'.

  • Maroney said the people who control Britney's life are criminals "just like USA gymnastics."

  • In 2017, Maroney revealed that she was abused by disgraced former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast McKayla Maroney drew a link between her time as a team USA gymnast and Britney Spears's fight to end her controversial conservatorship with an Instagram post on Tuesday.

In the post, Maroney can be seen wearing a Britney Spears t-shirt and in the caption, she praised the singer for speaking out against her "abusers."

She said: "Britney's story resonates with me so much because just like Britney, I also had to 'fake it till you make it' to survive my 2012 Olympics. I was just trying to accomplish my dream, but I had abuse coming at me from many angles that I didn't understand how to process at 15. I had to suppress it, and I had to minimize it, just to get through the day."

Maroney continued to criticize media outlets who she wrote: "bully celebrities and athletes with dramatic clickbait stories and false reports, for their benefit."

She added: "I'm so proud of Britney for speaking out. She deserves to spend the rest of her life healing in peace or doing whatever she wants. The people who control her are criminals, and abusers, just like USA gymnastics, and the USOC used me and their athletes for money, but didn't care to protect us."

In 2017, Maroney revealed that she was one of the hundreds of athletes who survived sexual abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar, the disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor who was convicted of seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in January 2018 after being accused of sexual misconduct and abuse by more than 150 young women and girls.

Nassar was also handed a 60-year sentence for child pornography crimes in 2016.

In 2018, Maroney, who has now retired from gymnastics, told NBC News that Nassar's abuse was constant and began immediately after she entered Nassar's medical treatment room for the first time. During the interview, Maroney also criticized USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee for what she described as a lack of interest in safeguarding athletes.

"All they cared about was money and medals. It didn't seem they cared about anything else," she said.

In 2017, it was reported that McKayla Maroney filed a lawsuit against the US Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, which claimed that both organizations tried to cover up the abuse by Nassar. At the time, Insider's senior sports reporter Scott Davis reported that the lawsuit alleged that USA Gymnastics agreed to a deal with Maroney to keep her from speaking out about Nassar's abuse.

The Wall Street Journal reported the deal paid Maroney $1.25 million.

Read the original article on Insider

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