Speed Reads

not a perfect 10

Former Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes on Nassar hearing: USA Gymnastics is about 'medals and money'

Former Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes spoke to MSNBC Wednesday regarding the Senate hearing on the FBI's botched investigation into abuse allegations against former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

"The sport of gymnastics, USA gymnastics has all been about medals and money," said Dawes. She added that her Olympic team's win in 1996 made the organization "extremely wealthy," and inspired many gyms and parents looking for an Olympian or college gymnast of their own.

But be cautious, she warned. "I want to plead to these parents and have them open their eyes and see that there is a great deal of toxicity in these private clubs. It's not solely USA Gymnastics," Dawes said. "It's also the clubs that are within and under USA Gymnastics, it's those private coaches" that are out there "verbally, emotionally, physically, and psychologically abusing these young girls."

Earlier, Dawes also told NBC News of "the very toxic culture" in the sport of gymnastics, and discussed how it related to Nassar's abuse. "What this predator did is he saw the vulnerability in these young athletes, and he preyed on them and he took advantage of them," she said.