Simone Biles gave an emotional testimony on Wednesday (Sept. 15) as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing about the FBI’s handling of Larry Nassar’s sex abuse investigation. From 2017 to 2018, the disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor was found guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with minors, possession of child pornography and more, and received multiple sentences amounting to life in prison without parole. Biles was the first person to give her testimony on Wednesday, followed by American gymnasts McKayla Marone, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman, all of whom were abused by Nassar.
“I am also a survivor of sexual abuse and I believe without a doubt that the circumstances that led to my abuse and allowed it to continue are directly the result of the fact that the organizations created by Congress to oversee and protect me as an athlete – USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee – failed to do their jobs,” Biles said in her opening statement.
“I don’t want another young gymnast, 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,” she added.
The seven-time Olympic medalist said she blames Nassar and the “entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse.” Biles further said Rhonda Faehn, former head of the USA Gymnastics Women’s program, knew about the abuse in May of 2015.
“USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic committee knew that I was abused by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge,” she told the committee.
Following the star gymnasts’ testimonies, Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Chris Wray will speak at the hearing’s second panel.
In July, the Justice Department’s inspector general revealed that FBI officials made false statements and failed to correctly document Nassar’s victims’ claims, which delayed the agency’s investigation. The Office of the Inspector General also found that senior officials at the FBI Indianapolis Field Office failed to respond to victims’ accusations, made numerous errors during the investigation and violated several FBI policies.
See a clip from Biles’ emotional testimony on Twitter below.