On Wednesday, Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles gave a powerful testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI and gymnastics officials turned a “blind eye” to the sexual abuse by gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of her and hundreds of others. Biles blamed the “entire system” for enabling the disgraced doctor.
“I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse,” Biles said in tearful testimony. The Olympian said that USA Gymnastics, US Olympic committees “knew that I was abused by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge.”
The hearing comes as part of a congressional effort to hold the FBI accountable after repeated severe missteps during the investigation, including the delays that allowed Nassar to abuse other young athletes. 40 girls and women came forward stating that they were molested after the FBI was made aware of allegations of abuse against Nassar in 2015.
Kayla Maroney, who competed in the London Olympics in 2012, also testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“After telling my entire story of abuse to the FBI in the summer of 2015, not only did the FBI not report my abuse, but when they eventually documented my report 17 months later, they made entirely false claims about what I said,” Maroney said.
“They chose to lie about what I said and protect a serial child molester, rather than protect not only me but countless others.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray apologized on Wednesday to the victims on behalf of his agency.
“I’m sorry that so many different people let you down over and over again. And I’m especially sorry that there were people at the FBI who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed, and that is inexcusable,” Wray said.
Photo by Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil; licensed under CC BY 3.0.