Simone Biles says an independent investigation needs to be conducted in Nassar scandal

The superstar gymnast says "a lot of things that need to happen before we can move forward" from the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

The most decorated gymnast of all time believes USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee need to do more to investigate how the sexual abuse scandal involving disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar was able to happen.

Simone Biles spoke with Stephanie Gosk on TODAY Wednesday about what steps she would like the organizations to take after she joined former Olympic teammate Aly Raisman in criticizing a $215 million settlement proposed by USA Gymnastics.

"I feel like it's a really tough subject to talk about, so it's easier to tweet about it and just let people know that I do care,'' Biles said. "But I think they just need to do what they say in some of their tweets that they release and to just do an independent investigation. And there's a lot of things that need to happen before we can move forward."

The Washington Post reported the settlement would compensate victims in a four-tiered system based on where the abuse happened and the professional level reached by each athlete.

The proposed settlement would also releases former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny, former coaches Martha and Béla Károlyi, and other U.S. Olympic officials from liability, according to the Post.

Raisman and Biles have both said they were sexually abused by Nassar under the guise of medical treatment. The former team doctor for USA Gymnastics is now serving life in prison.

Biles, 22, criticized the proposed settlement on Twitter Saturday in the midst of her training for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team that will compete in Tokyo this summer.

"Ugh at the airport. Heading to team camp. Still want answers from USAG and USOPC,'' she wrote. "Wish they BOTH wanted an independent investigation as much as the survivors & I do. Anxiety high. Hard not to think about everything that I DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT!!!

"And don’t THEY also want to know HOW everything was allowed to happen and WHO let it happen so it NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN? Shouldn’t people be held accountable? Who do I ask??? I’m torn at this point...."

Raisman expressed her disgust at the proposed settlement in an interview with Gosk on TODAY Monday.

"It's honestly offensive," she said. "It shows they don't care. They're just trying to push it under the rug and hoping people will forget about it when they watch the Olympics this summer."

USA Gymnastics responded to Raisman and Biles' comments in a statement to NBC News saying that it has fully cooperated with all investigative bodies and must "respect the confidentiality and integrity" of the process.

The organization said is has "deep respect and empathy for the victims" and that it is committed to achieving "justice for the survivors in an expedited manner." USA Gymnastics added that it has instituted reforms that include updated bylaws focused on safety and clearer policies about reporting abuse.

As she fights for transparency in the Nassar scandal, she's also preparing to add to her Olympic gold medal haul this summer in Tokyo.

She posted an eye-opening video on Feb. 20 of her practicing a gravity-defying version of a Yurchenko double pike that no female gymnast has performed in competition. However, don't expect to see her breaking out that maneuver in Tokyo.

"No, no that's just for training,'' she told Gosk. "I mean, I wish but it's risk vs. reward."

Biles has also taken a stand against impossible beauty standards, partnering with the skin care company SK-II to "take the competition out of beauty" ahead of the Tokyo Games.

"For me, I would say it doesn't matter how you look, it's how well you do," she told Gosk.