Olympic gymnastics star Simone Biles on Wednesday blamed the “entire system” for enabling the abuse by disgraced gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
In emotional testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biles said that she didn’t want another young athlete to experience the horror that she and hundreds of other gymnasts endured.
Biles, who has been open about being abused by Nassar, said that circumstances that led to her abuse came about because multiple entities — including USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee — “failed to do their jobs.”
“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,” Biles said.
“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar — and I also blame an entire system that perpetrated his abuse,” she continued.
The Judiciary panel is holding the hearing following the release of a Justice Department inspector general report that faulted the FBI for not responding to the allegations against Nassar with the urgency they required.
Biles explained that she didn’t understand the magnitude of Nassar’s abuse until the Indianapolis Star published an article in the fall of 2016 explaining the abuse.
She said that while she was competing in Rio as part of the 2016 Olympic team, neither USA Gymnastics nor the FBI ever contacted her parents that investigations were ongoing.
She said that those who were tasked with ensuring the safety of gymnasts “failed to do their jobs.”
“Nassar is where he belongs, but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable,” she continued. “If they are not, I am convinced that this will continue to happen to others across Olympic sports.”