Olympic great medalist Simone Biles attended the Congress on Wednesday and said in front of the jury that “enough is enough,” giving an emotional testimony along with some other young gymnasts as she spoke of her sexual abuse at the hands of the United States gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar.
Likewise, Biles acknowledged the fault of the gymnastics organization, and she also blamed the federal forces of order that ignored these crimes when stories of young athletes were sexually abused.
While standing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biles tearfully said, “I blame Larry Nassar, and I also blame an entire system that allowed and perpetrated the abuse of him.” Furthermore, she added that “USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee knew that the official doctor of their team abused me long before I realized the knowledge of him.”
Another gold medal-winning gymnast, McKayla Maroney, recounted to senators that one night when she was 15 years old, she found the doctor on top of her while she was naked, one of the many times she was abused. Also, she said that she thought she was going to die that night.
Following her account, Maroney said the FBI “downplayed and ignored her” after she reported Nassar. Additionally, her statement said that the agency delayed the investigation because others were abused. “If they are not going to protect me, I want to know whom they are trying to protect,” she said.
She added: “I think for so long we all questioned ourselves, just because someone else wasn’t fully validating us, that we doubt what happened to us, and I think that makes the healing process longer.”
The presence of an audience during the meeting with Congress was essential to hold the FBI accountable after multiple mistakes made during the investigation, including the delay that allowed Nassar to continue abusing the young gymnasts.
In July, the Justice Department conducted an internal investigation. It said in its post that the FBI made mistakes that were fundamental in the investigation and did not treat the case “more seriously” after USA Gymnastics first reported the allegations to the FBI field office in Indianapolis in 2015.
The FBI acknowledged that their conduct was unforgivable, as at least 40 girls and women said they were sexually abused while the FBI was aware of the problem. Aly Raisman, another Olympic gold medalist, and gymnast Maggie Nicols joined Biles and Maroney before Congress.
Raisman said: “I am disgusted that they are still seeking answers six years after the original allegations against Nassar were reported. We cannot fix a problem that we do not understand, and we cannot understand the problem unless and until we have all the facts.”