McKayla Maroney Testifies Before Congress That the FBI’s Delay in Investigating Nassar Has Caused Gymnasts to Have Doubts About Abuse.
McKayla Maroney, a member of the 2012 gold-medal-winning United States Olympic gymnastics team, told Congress that the FBI investigation into USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar made her and other gymnasts doubt their mistreatment.
The FBI “minimized and rejected” Maroney’s and the other gymnasts’ experiences, she told senators.
She recalled one of the many occasions she was molested, a night when she was 15 years old and found Nassar on top of her when she was naked. Maroney claimed she felt she was going to die that night, but she was met with “dead silence” when she notified FBI agents about the meeting in a call while crying.
“I think for a long time, all of us doubted what occurred to us because someone else wasn’t fully validating us,” Maroney added. “And I believe that this slows down the healing process.”
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Simone Biles, an Olympic gold medalist, said in front of Congress on Wednesday that federal law enforcement and gymnastics officials turned a “blind eye” to doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of her and hundreds of other women.
Biles, Maroney, and two other U.S. gymnasts told the Senate Judiciary Committee that “enough is enough” after Nassar’s crimes had had a lasting impact on their lives. FBI Director Christopher Wray responded by apologizing “deeply and profoundly” for the delays in Nassar’s prosecution and the grief it caused.
“I can imagine no location where I would be less comfortable right now than sitting here in front of you,” the four-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time world champion, widely regarded as the best gymnast of all time, remarked. She declared herself a sexual abuse survivor.
Through sobs, Biles added, “I blame Larry Nassar and I blame an entire system that tolerated and perpetrated his assault.” She also claimed that USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee “knew that I was mistreated by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge,” in addition to FBI failures.
“If you enable a predator to,” Biles added, a message must be delivered. This is a condensed version of the information.