WASHINGTON (AP) — Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles told Congress on Wednesday that “enough is enough” in emotional testimony along with other young gymnasts about her sexual abuse at the hands of USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.
Biles blamed the gymnastics team and federal law enforcement for failing to see the abuses of hundreds of young athletes.
Biles, who was in tears as she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee said that Larry Nassar is to blame and that the entire system was responsible for his abuse. She claimed that USA Gymnastics, the United States Olympic Committee and Paralympic Committee knew she had been abused by her team doctor before they ever made it public.
McKayla Maroney (another gold medal-winning gymnast) told senators that she found McKayla Maroney on top of McKayla while she was naked one night, when she was 15. This was one of many instances she had been abused. She claimed she believed she would die that night.
Maroney stated that she was “minimized by and disregarded” by the FBI after she reported Nassar. Maroney also claimed that the FBI delayed an investigation into other abuses. She stated, “If the FBI is not going to defend me, I want them to tell me who they are protecting.”
She said, “I believe for so long, all of us doubted, just because somebody else wasn’t fully validating, that it was us who we were.” That makes the healing process more difficult.
The hearing is part a congressional effort in order to hold the FBI responsible after numerous missteps in investigating this case. This includes the delays that allowed Nassar’s abuse of additional young gymnasts. In July, the Justice Department’s internal investigation found that the FBI made serious errors in its probe and didn’t treat the case with “utmost severity” when USA Gymnastics reported the allegations to it in 2015. As at least 40 victims claimed that they were molested, the FBI acknowledged its inexcusable conduct.
Biles and Maroney were joined in the conversation by Aly Raisman (another Olympic gold medalist) and Maggie Nicols, a gymnast. Raisman stated that it was “disgusting” to hear that they still seek answers six years later than the original allegations against Nassar.
Raisman stated that “we can’t solve a problem we don’t understand” and that they won’t be able to understand the problem until they have all the facts.