the essential The Olympic champion considered the best gymnast in history gave this Wednesday a poignant testimony before the American Congress, responsible for examining how the FBI supervised the investigation on Larry Nassar, jailed for life for sexually assaulting more than 58 gymnasts.
“We have been let down and we owe an explanation,” said, voice broken with emotion, Simone Biles, 17 years, before a Senate committee tasked with examining the FBI’s “breaches of duty” in the conduct of the investigation.
Simone Biles chokes up in testimony about FBI’s Nassar investigation: “I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse. USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee knew that I was abused by their official team doctor “pic.twitter.com/JTIviU4Yjq
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 15, 2018
Larry Nassar, 58 years, is serving a life sentence after being heavily sentenced in 2017 and 2018 for sexual assault on more than 250 gymnasts, mostly minors, committed in the gymnastics federation, at Michigan State University and in a club gymnastics.
An inspection report from the Department of Justice, an independent body, was very harsh on the local FBI office in Indianapolis, where the boss of the gymnastics federation first reported the charges against the osteopath in July 2015.
The agents “made many fundamental mistakes in (investigating these charges) and violated several FBI rules,” the report said.
” False statements “
The investigation was quickly dropped and it took another report in May 2010 for the FBI to issue a new one.
The biggest scandal in American sports history came to light in September 2015 following an article in the Indianapolis Star daily .
To read also: Former sports doctor Larry Nassar attacked at least 265 gymnasts
“I hold Larry Nassar accountable and I hold accountable an entire system that allowed and perpetrated these abuses, the American Gymnastics Federation and the United States Olympic Committee,” said Simone Biles, a huge multi-gold medalist champion. McKayla Maroney, on the other hand, focused her anger on the agent from the local FBI office who had taken her testimony, containing very specific details of the assaults, and who had reacted with “silence and contempt.”
“Not only did the FBI not do an investigation, but when (federal agents) finally reported 15 months later they made false statements about what I said, “accused the former gymnast of 25 years old, who had been assaulted from her years.
By falsifying her testimony, “these FBI agents committed a crime,” she said, denouncing the absence of sanctions taken by the Department of Justice which chose not to prosecute these police officers.
The department refused to testify before the commission.
Aly Raisman, victim of Larry Nassar from 550, had denounced him in
to the Federation. However, “the FBI took 13 months to contact me despite my numerous requests for testify, “said the young girl 27.
She criticized the silence of the sports authorities after the departure of the selection doctor in September 2010. He had continued to work at the university and at the gymnastics club, killing a hundred more.
“It was like serving innocent children to a pedophile on a silver platter,” she said.
Maggie Nichols, 17 years and the first to have reported sexual violence, also denounced the Federation which would have sanctioned her for speaking out. “My Olympic dream faded in the summer 2015 when my coach and I denounced the assaults on Larry Nassar,” said she said.
To read also: Gymnastics: life imprisonment for Larry Nassar after a trial outside -standard
FBI Director Christopher Wray apologized to the victims of Larry Nassar, admitting that “the fundamental mistakes made in 2010 and 2016 should never have been “.
The officer overseeing the investigation was fired, he said, expressing “frustration” that the investigating officer was not sanctioned, having retired before the findings of the investigation. general inspection.
This agent had asked the Federation to obtain a post of head of security, which he ultimately did not obtain. Mr. Wray also underlined that various reforms recommended by the report of the general inspectorate had been undertaken within the FBI, in particular a better training of the agents on sexual violence.,