Olympic gold medalist Simon Biles told the Senat Judiciary Committee that “enough is enough” as she and three other US gymnasts spoke in stark emotional terms about the lasting toll Nassar's crimes have taken on their lives.
According to some reports, the 2016 Olympic champion and a five-time world champion – widely considerd to be the greatest gymnast of all time- went on to say that she “can imagine no plce that I would be less comfortable right now than sitting here in front of you.” She has declared herself as a survivor of sexual abuse.
“I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse,” Biles said. The gymnast also pointed out that the 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.” Simone Biles is convinced that a message needs to be sent: “If you allow a predator to harm children, the consequences will be swift and severe. Enough is enough.”
The hearing if part of a congressional initiative to hold the FBI accountable after multiple missteps in investigating the case, including the delays that allowed the now-imprisoned Nassar to abuse other young gymnasts. In July, the Justice Department released an internal investigation that pointed out that the FBI made fundamental errors in the probe and did not treat the case with the “utmost seriousness” after USA Gymnastics first reported the allegations to the FBI's field office in Indianapolis in 2015.
The FBI has acknowledged its own conduct was inexcusable. At least 40 girls and women said they were molested after the FBI had been made aware of the problem. McKayla Maroney, another gold medal winning gymnast, told senators that one night when she was 15 years old, she found the doctor on top of her while she was naked – one of many times she was abused. She said she thought she was going to die that evening. Maroney said the FBI “minimized and “disregarded” her after she reported Nassar and said the agency delayed the investigation as other gymnasts were abused.
“I think for so long all of us questioned, just because someone else wasn't fully validating us, that we doubted what happened to us,” Maroney said. “And I think that makes the healing process take longer.” Simon Biles and Maroney were joined by Aly Raisman, another Olympic gold medalist, and gymnast Maggie Nichols. Raisman said it “disgusts me” that they are still looking for answers six years after the original allegations against Nassar were reported. “We just can't fix a problem we don't understand, and we can't understand the problem unless and until we have all of the facts,” Raisman said, noting the traumatic effect the abuse has had on all of them.