Washington: Legendary US gymnast Simone Biles told Congress on Wednesday that federal law enforcement and gymnastics officials were least bothered about allegations of sexual abuse on former US Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar of several women including her, news agency AP reports.
Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee along with three other US gymnasts, Biles put her foot down stating, “enough is enough.” FBI Director Christopher Wray apologised for delay in Nassar’s prosecution. The three gymnasts apart from Biles, who were part of the proceedings were Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols.
The four-time Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion proclaiming to be a survivor of sexual abuse, added, “I can imagine no place that I would be less comfortable right now than sitting here in front of you.”
“I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse,” said a tearful Biles, adding, “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.”
Biles wanted a strong message to be conveyed, “If you allow a predator to harm children, the consequences will be swift and severe. Enough is enough.”
The hearing is part of a Congressional initiative to blame the FBI for numerous errors in investigating the case, including the laxity making way for the incarcerated Nassar to abuse other young gymnasts. At least 40 girls and women had alleged they were molested after the matter was brought before the FBI.
Wray on his part, slammed his own agents who “failed to appropriately respond to the complaints and made a promise to the victims that he was committed to make damn sure everybody at the FBI remembers what happened here and that it never happens again.”
Maroney, part of the gold-medal winning 2012 Olympic gymnastics team, recalled how she at 15, found the doctor to be on top of her when she was naked.
Maroney said, “The FBI minimised and disregarded me and the other gymnasts as they delayed the probe. 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. And I think that makes the healing process take longer.”
Senators both Democratic and Republican were upset over the case and said they would continue to probe. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Durbin, D-Ill added, “We have a job to do and we know it.”