Simone Biles Testifies Before Senate On Larry Nassar Investigation

By Cherranda Smith

September 15, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

Simone Biles testified before the Senate on Wednesday (September 15) as part of the congressional investigation into former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar.

"I don't want another young gymnast Olympic athlete or any individual to experience the horror that I and hundreds of others endured before, during and continuing to this day," the gymnastics champion said before becoming overwhelmed by emotion.

"To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame 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," Biles added.

Nassar was convicted on charges of sexual assault and child pornography and is serving a 175-year prison sentence.

Biles was joined by fellow gymnastics athletes Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and Maggie Nichols, in delivering searing testimony against Nassar and the officials, including FBI agents, who allowed the abuse to continue and initially failed to bring Nassar to justice.

Biles said that while Nassar's abuse was being investigated in 2015 and 2016, neither Team USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee nor the FBI reached out to her or her parents even though at the times "others have been informed and investigations were ongoing."

"I have been left to wonder why I was not told until after the Rio Games," Biles said. All of the athletes testified to knowing girls who were abused by Nassar after they reported their abuse.

"Nassar is where he belongs," Biles said. "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."

Biles said that she trained to go to the Tokyo Games to "maintain a connection between the failures and the competition at Tokyo 2020."

"That has proven to be exceptionally difficult burden for me to carry particularly when required to travel to Tokyo, without the support 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."

Reading about trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available: 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264

The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001

RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673

For more mental health resources, click HERE

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