Aly Raisman wanted to introduce herself to the incoming CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee following a Senate subcommittee hearing related to recent scandals within amateur sports on Tuesday.
But Sarah Hirshland refused to speak to the three-time Olympic gold medalist and survivor of sexual abuse by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, Raisman told reporters afterward.
“I said, ‘Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me,’ and she kind of ignored me, but I was like, ‘Excuse me,’” said Raisman, who had been sitting some 20 feet away from Hirshland during the hearing.
“So she looked at me because I wasn’t going to let her leave. I said, ‘I’d really like to introduce myself to you.’ She’s like, ‘I’ve been instructed I can’t talk to you.’ So I said, ‘You can’t just say hi to me?’ She said no and then rushed out.”
Hirshland is expected to take over for interim USOC CEO Susanne Lyons next month.
Last week, the USOC filed a motion to be removed as a defendant in lawsuits by several gymnasts — including Raisman and fellow Olympic gold medalists McKayla Maroney and Jordyn Wieber — for its alleged role in the Nassar scandals.
More than 260 women and girls say they were abused by Nassar under the guise of medical treatment. The former doctor is serving a 60-year sentence on child pornography charges and has been sentenced to 40-175 years and 40-125 years on separate sexual assault charges.
“How can you believe that they really care when the new CEO won’t even say hi?” said Raisman, who did speak with Lyons for several minutes after the hearing.
The USOC said the incident between Hirshland and Raisman was a misunderstanding and that Hirshland has since apologized via email.