Gymnasts in the United States have slammed the FBI and sports officials in the wake of Nassar’s abuse.
In a stunning Senate hearing on Wednesday, Olympic champion Simone Biles and other top American gymnasts chastised US sports leaders and the FBI for failing to act quickly on concerns about Larry Nassar, the former team doctor convicted of serial sexual assault.
The 24-year-old Biles, a seven-time Olympic medalist and the most decorated gymnast in world championships history, said, “We have been failed, and we want answers.”
She told an emotional Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, “To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar, but I also blame a whole system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse.”
After pleading guilty to sexually assaulting women and girls while working as a team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, Nassar, 58, was sentenced to life in prison in 2018. (MSU). Nassar was reported to the FBI by USA Gymnastics in July 2015, but he continued to work at MSU and sexually molested at least 70 additional women until he was revealed by a newspaper in September 2016.
Biles and the other three gymnasts — McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Maggie Nichols – testified that the FBI, USA Gymnastics’ leadership, and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee let them down (USOPC).
“We suffered and continue to suffer because no one at the FBI, USAG, or USOPC did everything they could to protect us,” Biles said, pausing her testimony numerous times to collect herself and wipe away tears.
Maroney, who won a team gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, claimed she told a Federal Bureau of Investigation investigator about Nassar’s assault in a three-hour phone conversation in 2015, but it was “minimized and rejected.”
“Not only did the FBI fail to record my abuse, but when they finally documented my report 17 months later, they made completely fraudulent assertions about what I said,” Maroney added.
“They let a child molester go free for more than a year,” said Maroney, who is 25 years old. “They did nothing despite having legal, real evidence of child abuse.”
Hundreds of women have accused Nassar of sexually abusing them throughout his more than two-decade career in sports medicine, including Olympians and collegiate players.
The FBI’s field office in Indianapolis, where USA Gymnastics has its headquarters, mishandled the allegations against Nassar, according to a report released by the Justice Department’s Inspector General in July. The charges were not taken seriously by FBI personnel, and they were not investigated promptly. Brief News from Washington Newsday.