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Simone Biles delivered her heart-wrenching testimony on Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the FBI’s handling of Larry Nassar’s sex abuse investigation.
Biles was one of over 150 women and girls who came forward to accuse former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse. Nassar headed faced a judge over the allegations, and in January 2018, he was sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison. He was also given a 60-year sentence from December 2017 in federal prison on child pornography charges.
He received multiple sentences amounting to life in prison without parole.
“I am also a survivor of sexual abuse and I believe without a doubt that the circumstances that led to my abuse and allowed it to continue are directly the result of the fact that the organizations created by Congress to oversee and protect me as an athlete – USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee – failed to do their jobs,” Biles said in her opening statement.
She was the first athlete to testify before the committee.
“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,” she continued.
The seven-time Olympic medalist added that Rhonda Faehn, former head of the USA Gymnastics Women’s program, was aware of the abuse as early as May of 2015.
“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,” she disclosed.
In her July cover story for Vogue this year, Biles shared why she finally spoke out.
“I was reading Maggie [Nichols’] coverage and it just hit me,” Biles said. “I was like, I’ve had the same treatments. I remember googling, like, sexually abused. Because I know some girls had it worse than me. I know that for a fact. So I felt like I wasn’t abused, because it wasn’t to the same extent as the other girls. Some of my friends had it really, really bad. They were his favorite. Since mine wasn’t to that capacity, I felt like it didn’t happen.”