Simone Biles, along with other gymnasts, blames the FBI and the US Gymnastics Association for abuse by the team doctor.
Washington DC – American Olympic champion Simone Biles made serious allegations against the US Gymnastics Federation and the FBI at a congressional hearing in Washington DC. Specifically, it is about an investigation into abuse against longtime team doctor Larry Nassar, who is said to have sexually abused Biles and hundreds of other athletes. It is the largest abuse scandal in US sport history.
“We have failed and we deserve answers,” said Biles, according to Aljazeera, at the hearing on Wednesday (September 15, 2021), to which three other athletes – Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols – had appeared. “It really felt like the FBI was ignoring us,” Biles said. She also blamed MPs who oversee American Olympic organizations.
Simone Biles and other US athletes make serious allegations
Maroney supported Biles: “I told my whole story to the FBI in the summer of 2015. At first they didn’t report my abuse, but when they finally documented it 17 months later, they made false claims about what I said, ”she told the investigative committee, according to Al Jazeera. She also reported a phone call with an FBI agent about abuse during the 2011 World Cup in Tokyo. At that time, the team doctor Nassar is said to have given her a sleeping pill, according to her descriptions, stepped on her and “harassed her for hours”.
The FBI agent is said to have asked Maroney: “Is that all?” – an answer that, according to the athlete, “was one of the worst in the entire process”.
Abuse by team doctor Larry Nassar: “We suffered and continue to suffer”
According to Al Jazeera, Biles decided to testify, according to her own account, “so that no little girl has to endure what I, the athletes at this table and countless others had to endure” who have been treated by Nassars. “We suffered and continue to suffer because nobody in the FBI, USAG or USOPC did anything to protect us,” Biles said.
A Justice Department inspector, General Michael Horowitz, issued a 119-page report in July detailing the officers’ misconduct. They enabled Nassar to continue his abuse for many more months. Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for the abuse cases in 2017 and 2018.
US female athlete abuse: Senator admits mistakes
Senator Richard Blumenthal admitted mistakes during the hearing, according to Al Jazeera. “Not only the FBI has systematically and repeatedly not done its job. It’s also the cover-up that occurred when FBI agents made false statements and fraudulent omissions, ”he said. He hoped the Justice Department could confirm why these FBI agents’ lies did not lead to prosecution.
Neither senior agent Jay Abbott nor the unnamed agent who spoke to Maroney were charged. (msb)
Gymnastics star Simone Biles has canceled several starts at the 2021 Olympics. According to her own statement, she was unable to participate in the competitions due to mental problems.