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Simone Biles And US Olympic Gymnasts Give Harrowing Sexual Assault Testimonies At Congress

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Simone Biles And US Olympic Gymnasts Give Harrowing Sexual Assault Testimonies At Congress

Olympic gold medallist Simone Biles has told Congress that gymnastics officials and law enforcement both turned a "blind eye" to disgraced former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar when he was sexually abusing hundreds of young gymnasts.

Biles, a seven-time Olympic medallist and widely regarded as the gymnastics GOAT, was accompanied by fellow athletes Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols as they gave harrowing testimonies about their experiences with Nassar.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The gymnasts also took aim at USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee and the FBI for failing to take appropriate action when serious allegations were made against their employee Nassar.

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"To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse," Biles said during her emotional address.

"USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee knew that I was abused by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge.

"We suffered and continue to suffer, because no one at FBI, USAG, or the USOPC did what was necessary to protect us. We have been failed, and we deserve answers.

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"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."

Biles went on to say that her parents were never contacted by the sporting bodies or FBI, despite knowledge of what was going on behind closed doors.

"The organisations created by Congress to oversee and protect me as an athlete... failed to do their jobs," she added.

Larry Nassar. Credit: PA
Larry Nassar. Credit: PA
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Nichols, who featured heavily in the shocking Netflix documentary 'Athlete A', was also one of the many Olympic and collegiate gymnasts who was subject to abuse at the hands of Nassar.

"I am haunted by the fact that even after I reported my abuse so many women and girls had to suffer at the hands of Larry Nassar," Nichols told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee have all betrayed me and those who were abused by Larry Nassar."

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Olympic gold medallist Maroney, a member of America's 'Fierce Five' squad alongside Raisman, hit out at law enforcements for their complete and utter failure in handling the situation as well as their inability to supply support to the victims.

"They allowed a child molester to go free for more than a year," Maroney said.

"They had legal, legitimate evidence of child abuse and did nothing.

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"I told him (FBI) that the first thing Larry Nassar ever said to me was to change into shorts with no underwear because that would make it easier for him to work on me.

"I then told the FBI about Tokyo. The day he gave me a sleeping pill for the plane ride to then work on me later that night. That evening, I was naked, completely alone with him on top of me molesting me for hours. I told them I thought I was going to die that night. Because there was no way that he would let me go. But he did.

"I told them I walked the halls of Tokyo hotel at 2am. At only 15-years-old, I began crying at the memory over the phone, and there was just dead silence. I was so shocked at the agent's silence and disregard for my trauma. After that minute of silence he asked, 'Is that all?'

"Those words in itself was one of the worst moments of this entire process for me, to have my abuse be minimised and disregarded by the people who were supposed to protect me. Just to feel like my abuse was not enough. But the truth is my abuse was enough. And they wanted to cover it up."

In 2017, Nassar was convicted of multiple counts of sexual misconduct including contact with minors, rape and possession of child pornography.

He was ultimately slapped with a 300-year jail sentence after over 250 former gymnasts came forward and publicly testified against him.

During that powerful trial where every woman recounted their horror experiences with Nassar as he sat there and listened.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Simone Biles, Gymnastics, olympics, united states, Australia

Max Sherry
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