Some of gymnastics’ biggest stars offered a scathing account of the FBI’s failure to stop serial sexual abuser, USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. This is Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney.
McKayla Maroney: “This was very clear, cookie cutter pedophilia and abuse. And this is important, because I told the FBI all of this, and they chose to falsify my report and to not only minimize my abuse, but silence me yet again. I thought, given the severity of the situation, that they would act quickly for the sake of protecting other girls. But instead, it took them 14 months to report anything, when Larry Nassar, in my opinion, should have been in jail that day. The FBI, USOC and USAG sat idly by as dozens of girls and women continued to be molested by Larry Nassar.”
Simone Biles, four-time Olympic gold medalist and widely considered to be the greatest gymnast of all time, also spoke before the Senate.
Simone Biles: “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. To be clear — sorry.”
Sen. Dick Durbin: “Take your time.”
Simone Biles: “To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar, and I also blame an entire system that enabled and [perpetuated] his abuse.”
Lawyers say that in the time between the FBI being told of Nassar’s crimes and his 2016 arrest, Nassar abused another 120 people. FBI Director Christopher Wray apologized to the gymnasts during the hearing. Last week, the FBI fired an agent involved in the investigation into Nassar. Both the gymnasts and senators on the Judiciary Committee called out Justice Department leadership for failing to appear at Wednesday’s hearing. Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to testify in October.