Simone Biles broke down in tears while testifying about Larry Nassar in front of senators on Capitol Hill.
Speaking at a US senate hearing earlier this week, Simone Biles offered an emotional testimony into the abuse she suffered at the hands of the former team doctor, Larry Nassar.
The Senate hearing is currently being held to examine the FBI’s failures in the Nassar investigation. It comes after a government watchdog group found that the law enforcement agency didn’t respond to the allegations sufficiently.
Speaking in front of senators about the scandal that shocked the world, Biles began stating that she is a “survivor of sexual abuse.”
“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 that 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 began, as per TMZ.
Biles then continued her testimony with a quote from Nelson Mandela: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
Before briefly having to pause as emotion caught up with her.
Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics team doctor, was convicted of abusing hundreds of women back in 2018.
After he was accused of abuse by more than 330 women at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, Nassar was sentenced to between forty and 175 years in prison, the BBC reports.
Continuing to speak of the abuse she suffered, Biles said that she not only blamed Nassar, but also the “entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse.”
“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 said, as per the Guardian.
Biles, who was joined by fellow former USA gymnasts McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols, and Aly Raisman, then spoke of the effects of the abuse she suffered.
“The scars of this horrific abuse continue to live with all of us. I worked incredibly hard to make sure that my presence could help maintain a connection between the failures and the competition at Tokyo 2020,” she said.
“That has proven to be an exceptionally difficult burden for me to carry, particularly when required to travel to Tokyo without the support of any of my family.”
“I am a strong individual and I will persevere, but I never should have been left alone to suffer the abuse of Larry Nassar. And the only reason I did, was because of the failures that lie at the heart of the abuse that you are now asked to investigate.”
Biles added to her testimony that she and others who suffered at the hands of Nassar had “been failed” and “deserve answers.”
“Nassar is where he belongs, but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable. If they are not, I am convinced that this will continue to happen to others across Olympic sports,” she said.
“This is the largest case of sexual abuse in the history of American sport. It truly feels like the FBI turned a blind eye to us.”