Four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles discussed her experience of abuse at the hands of disgraced doctor Larry Nassar in an interview with Vogue ©Getty Images

Four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles has discussed her experience of abuse at the hands of disgraced doctor Larry Nassar and revealed she was "broken" at the postponement of the Olympics in Tokyo as it meant staying with USA Gymnastics for another year.

The most decorated gymnast in American history spoke of her experiences in a wide-ranging interview with Vogue.

Biles said she realised she had been abused by Nassar after the coverage of former team-mate and fellow survivor Maggie Nichols.

Nichols was the focus of the recent "Athlete A" documentary on Netflix, which detailed the sexual abuse scandal. 

The former team world champion had been the first to come forward to USA Gymnastics about the abuse in 2015.

"But I was reading Maggie’s coverage and it just hit me," Biles said. 

"I was like, I’ve had the same treatments. 

"I remember Googling, like, 'sexually abused'. 

Biles, who has earned 19 world titles during her career, described the time that followed as "dark". 

"I was very depressed," she said.

"At one point I slept so much because, for me, it was the closest thing to death without harming myself. 

"It was an escape from all of my thoughts, from the world, from what I was dealing with. 

"It was a really dark time."

Athlete A alleges that USA Gymnastics ignored the sexual abuse by Nasser, despite athletes coming forward about the physician's misconduct.

The documentary suggests that the governing body were more interested in profit over the welfare of its gymnasts.

Biles claimed this information meant she was "torn and broke" when the Olympics were postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, as it meant she would have to spend another year with USA Gymnastics. 

"We were gripping at the bars, and I just started crying," she said.

"Another year of dealing with USA Gymnastics. 

"That, I don’t know if I can take."

The 23-year-old has been a vocal critic of both the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and USA Gymnastics handling of the Nassar abuse scandal. 

She is currently a plaintiff in the ongoing lawsuit against both organisations, filed by around 140 survivors of the doctor.

The court motion seeks the testimony of current USOPC chair Susanne Lyons, former chief executive Scott Blackmun and former chief of sport performance Alan Ashley.

Both the USOPC and USA Gymnastics have previously tried to avoid being held responsible for failing to stop Nasser's abuse. 

USA Gymnastics offered a $215 million (£165 million/€194 million) settlement to more than 140 survivors in February, on the condition that the USOPC would be released from liability and no current or past USOPC or USA Gymnastics employees would be required to provide testimony. 

This offer was rejected, with Biles criticising both bodies for such a move.

The US Department of Justice is also still investigating the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s handling of the allegations, with the law enforcement agency accused of a "lack of urgency".

More than 350 women are thought to have been abused by Nassar, given an effective life sentence by a Michigan court in 2018 for sexually abusing dozens of young female gymnasts.

He is also serving a 60-year jail term for a Federal child pornography conviction.