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US Olympic gymnast Simone Biles is sworn in to testify during a Senate Judiciary hearing about the Inspector General’s report on the FBI handling of the Larry Nassar investigation of sexual abuse of Olympic gymnasts, on Capitol Hill, September 15, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo : SAUL LOEB/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
On Wednesday, emotions came pouring out of American star gymnast Simone Biles as she relived the horrific sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. The Olympic gold medalist broke down in tears in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, examining the FBI’s shortcomings in their handling of the Nassar investigation.
Biles blames USA Gymnastics and USOPC for their role in Nassar abuse
Biles pinned the blame on Nassar and the organizations that Congress created to protect her as an athlete, saying the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Gymnastics failed to do their jobs in preventing the sexual abuse.
Biles, who is the most decorated American gymnast of all time, having won 25 world championship medals and seven Olympic medals in her storied career, said, “I blame Larry Nassar, and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse.”
Biles later added that “if you allow a predator to harm children, the consequences will be swift and severe.” Biles said that she doesn’t want another young gymnast, Olympic athlete, or any other individual for that matter to experience the horror that she and hundreds of others have “endured before, during and continuing to this day in the wake of the Larry Nassar abuse.”
Biles was joined on Wednesday by fellow gymnasts McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Maggie Nichols in the Senate hearing. They all called for the people and institutions who should have protected them from the Nassar abuse to be held accountable.
Their testimonies came after a Justice Department inspector general released a report back in July detailing the FBI’s mishandling of the case against Nassar, who is currently serving a life sentence in jail after being convicted of sexually abusing girls.
According to that report, Nassar continued to treat gymnasts at Michigan State University, a high school, and a gymnastics club until September 2016, even though the FBI had received sexual assault allegations about him the year before in 2015.
Biles demands justice for Nassar’s sexual abuse victims
Biles was among those who felt disgusted after reading the report, saying that the FBI turned a blind eye to them. Biles said that she and her fellow gymnasts have suffered and continue to suffer because no one at the FBI, USA Gymnastics, or the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee did what was necessary to protect them.
Biles went on to demand justice for the victims of the sexual abuse, saying, “We have been failed, and we deserve answers. Nassar is where he belongs, but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable.”
Biles believes there will be repercussions if they are not brought to justice, saying this will continue to happen to other athletes across Olympic sports.
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