Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles has told Congress that “enough is enough” in emotional testimony with other young gymnasts about sexual abuse at the hands of United States gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.
Biles blamed not only the gymnastics organization but also federal law enforcement for crimes such as mistreatment of hundreds of young athletes “turned a blind eye”.
“I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame a whole system that enabled and criminalized his abuse,” Biles said through tears in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She said that USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee “knew that I had been abused by their official team doctor long before I became aware of their knowledge.”
Another gold medal-winning gymnast McKayla Maroney told the senators that one night when she was 15, she found the doctor on her own while she was naked — she had been abused multiple times. She said that she thought she was going to die that evening.
Maroney said the FBI “minimized and disregarded” him after reporting Nassar, adding that the agency delayed the investigation because other people were abused. “If they’re not going to protect me, I want to know who they’re trying to protect,” she said.
She continued: “I think for so long we all questioned, just because no one else was fully validating us, we doubted what happened to us. And I think that led to healing. The process takes longer.”
The hearing is part of Congress’s effort to hold the FBI accountable after several missteps in the investigation, including delays that allowed Nassar to abuse additional young gymnasts. An internal investigation by the Justice Department released in July stated that the FBI made fundamental errors in the investigation and did not take the matter “with the utmost seriousness” when USA Gymnastics first reported the allegations to the FBI’s field office in Indianapolis in 2015. Gave. The FBI has admitted that its own conduct was unforgivable because at least 40 girls and women said they were molested while the FBI was aware of the problem.
Biles and Maroni were joined by another Olympic gold medalist, Aly Raisman, and gymnast Maggie Nichols. Raisman said it “hates me” that they are still looking for answers six years after the original allegations against Nassar were reported.
“We just can’t fix a problem we don’t understand, and we can’t understand the problem until we have all the facts,” Raisman said.