On Wednesday (Sept. 15), Simone Biles testified that the sexual abuse she suffered by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar directly impacted her mental health at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer during which she unexpectedly withdrew from several events.
Biles was joined by other members of Team USA Gymnastics while speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee over what they said was the FBI’s failed investigation into Nassar’s actions. The decorated Olympian also said that current and former FBI agents should be held accountable for their mishandling of the bureau’s investigation, ESPN reports.
"It truly feels like the FBI turned a blind eye to us," said Biles while trying to hold back tears during her testimony, adding that agents should be federally prosecuted. Multiple senators also questioned why the Department of Justice did not pursue criminal charges against the agents.
During the summer of 2015, FBI agents failed to respond with the “seriousness and urgency” required after they were informed about Nassar’s abuse, a recent report published by the Department of Justice’s inspector general found. The report also found that agents mishandled evidence and later made false statements to investigators in a cover up attempt.
Biles was joined by fellow Olympian Aly Raisman, as well as former Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney and former world and NCAA champion Maggie Nichols, who initially brought Nassar’s behavior to the attention of USAG officials in June 2015.
The four gymnasts all say they were sexually assaulted by Nassar during their time with the national team. They were joined on Wednesday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray, who also testified Wednesday.
"I'm deeply and profoundly sorry," Wray told the gymnasts during his testimony, according to ESPN. "I'm especially sorry that there were people at the FBI who had their own chance to stop this monster in 2015 and failed. It never should have happened. And we're doing everything in our power to make sure it never happens again."
Nasser was convicted after pleading guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct in Ingham County, Mich., where he was team gymnastics doctor at Michigan State University, and where he was accused by several members of that team of sexual abuse. He was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison.