Butler County gymnastics coach who once praised pedophile trainer under fire

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WATCH: Larry Nassar Sentenced to 40-175 Years

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Butler County-based gymnastics coach Mary Lee Tracy has been pulled into the Larry Nassar scandal.

MORE: Who is Larry Nassar, former team doctor for USA Gymnastics?

Olympic champion and outspoken Nassar survivor Aly Raisman took to Twitter this week to protest USA Gymnastics' appointment of Tracy, owner of Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy in Fairfield,  to Elite Development Coordinator.

Raisman said Tracy “supported” Nassar, the former US Gymnastics doctor accused of molesting at least 250 girls dating back to 1992.

Others have since joined in criticizing Tracy on Twitter:

Tracy told Journal-News media partner WCPO in a December 2016 interview that Nassar, since sentenced to decades in prison on sex charges, had treated some gymnasts who trained at her Fairfield gym. But Tracy said Nassar had never worked there.

At the time of the interview, Tracy's gymnasts couldn’t believe the accusations against Nassar, Tracy said.

“My Olympians have all worked with Larry. We were all defending him because he has helped so many kids in their careers. He has protected them, taken care of them, worked with me and worked with their parents. He’s been amazing,” Tracy told WCPO at the time.

Tracy coached Amanda Borden of Cincinnati and Jaycie Phelps of Greenfield, Ind., to the gold-medal winning 1996 Olympic Team, known as the “Magnificent Seven.” Tracy was one of the coaches of that Olympic team.

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Aly Raisman gives a victim statement during a sentencing hearing for former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar

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Another gymnastics coach convicted of sex crimes, Ray Adams, did work at Cincinnati Gymnastics in the early 2000s, Tracy told WCPO.

ExploreMORE: ‘Pedophile’ gymnastics coach worked in Fairfield

Adams, who was found guilty of multiple sex crimes against children, coached gymnastics for 20 years in four different states, the Indianapolis Star reported. Adams was accused of molesting gymnasts and taking inappropriate photos of children at most of the 12 gyms where he worked.

Tracy said she didn't do a background check on Adams or other applicants at the time, but she does now.

"In 2000, people didn't do (background checks) as often," Tracy told WCPO. "Now, USA Gymnastics requires a background check even to become a member. And now we do background check on everyone. Back then I never really felt a need to. I wish I would have."

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What You Need To Know About Larry Nassar

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