Simone Biles has appeared before the US Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about the abuse she and her fellow gymnasts suffered at the hands of Larry Nassar and the recent report about the FBI handling of this case.
Simone joined other top US gymnasts Aly Raisman, Maggie Nichols and McKayla Maroney to testify. This comes after a July report by the Department of Justice Inspector General found that the FBI had been slow to respond despite the allegations against Nassar.
Coming together before the Senate, the four women suggested that their abuse by Nassar was prolonged by alleged failings and cover-ups perpetrated by the FBI, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
Breaking down in tears during her testimony, Simone also claimed that the trauma of the delayed investigation contributed to her recent Olympic experience, where she withdrew from the floor final, as well as several other finals.
“As the lone competitor in the recent Tokyo Games who was a survivor of this horror, I can assure you the impacts of this man’s abuse are not ever over or forgotten,” she said.
The most decorated Olympic gymnast of all time also expressed her determination to see that the allegedly mishandled investigation and the abuse would never be forgotten or ignored.
What did Simone Biles say about Larry Nassar's abuse?
Opening up as she testified against the disgraced former team doctor, Larry Nassar, Simone Biles spoke out about her desire to prevent such appalling abuse befalling anyone else after what she and her teammates had suffered.
“I don't want another young gymnast, or Olympic athlete, or any individual to experience the horror that I and hundreds of others have endured before, during and continuing to this day in the wake of the Larry Nassar abuse,” Simone bravely declared.
“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar, and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse,” she added.
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In her powerful and deeply moving speech, Simone also went on to express her belief that she and her fellow Gymnasts were failed by the system as well as the agencies and committees that were meant to protect them, including the FBI, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
She went on to state, “I sit before you today to raise my voice so that no little girl must endure what I, the athletes at this table, and the countless others who needlessly suffered under Nassar’s guise of medical treatment, which we continue to endure today.
“We suffered and continue to suffer because no one at the FBI, USAG or the USOPC did what was necessary to protect us. We have been failed, and we deserve answers,” she claimed.
“Nassar is where he belongs, but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable. If they are not, I am convinced that this will continue to happen to others across Olympic sports.”
Simone, who admitted she would ban a daughter from following in her gymnastics footsteps because of the abuse she suffered, continued, “I am a strong individual and I will persevere, but I never should’ve been left alone to suffer the abuse of Larry Nassar. And the only reason I did, was because of the failures that lie at the heart of the abuse you are now asked to investigate.”
As her emotional speech approached its equally poignant and meaningful conclusion, Simone once again reiterated her commitment to helping prevent such horrific abuse from happening again.
“I want to sincerely thank you for joining the survivors of this abuse to do whatever we all can to prevent anything like this from ever happening again,” she declared.
According to the BBC (opens in new tab), FBI Director Christopher Wray apologized to all those present at the Senate hearing for the "reprehensible conduct" and "fundamental errors" detailed in the July report.
This report by the Department of Justice Inspector General is said to have discovered that despite the serious allegations against Larry Nassar, the FBI had been slow to respond, with two FBI officials alleged to have lied during interviews to cover up errors.
What did Larry Nassar do to Simone Biles?
Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was convicted of sexually abusing more than 150 women and girls, including Simone Biles. The investigation into his abuse began in 2016 and two years later, Nassar was convicted, with over 100 women testifying against him during his trials.
As reported by the Evening Standard (opens in new tab), Nassar pled guilty to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with 10 victims in two counties in Michigan and all but one were understood to have been abused during a medical appointment with him.
Nassar was first sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography charges, followed by a sentence of up to 175 years in prison on sexual assault charges. He is now serving his sentences in the United States Penitentiary, Coleman, in Florida.
Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.
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