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Simone Biles Breaks Down In Tears While Testifying During Larry Nassar Molestation Case

by : Hannah Smith on : 16 Sep 2021 08:33
Simone Biles Breaks Down In Tears While Testifying During Larry Nassar Molestation CasePA Images/C-Span

Simone Biles has said she continues to live with the ‘scars’ of the ‘horrific abuse’ she suffered at the hands of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, in emotional testimony given to Congress.

The Olympian was one of several gymnasts to speak at a hearing investigating alleged failures by the FBI to properly investigate multiple allegations against Nassar in 2015. Nassar is currently serving a life sentence in prison after receiving 40 to 175 years for the sexual abuse of more than 100 underage victims.

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Simone Biles (PA Images)PA Images

During her testimony, Biles briefly broke down in tears as she described the impact the abuse continued to have on her and criticised the failure of the authorities to protect children from Nassar.

‘To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an 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 the only survivor of Nassar’s abuse still competing with USA Gymnastics, Biles said she had ‘worked incredibly hard to make sure that my presence could help maintain a connection between the failures and the competition at Tokyo 2020,’ but acknowledged that the pressure had taken a toll, The Guardian reports.

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She said:

The scars of this horrific abuse continue to live with all of us… 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.

USA gymnasts at the Senate hearing (PA Images)PA Images

Biles also called for the federal officials responsible for failing to properly investigate Nassar to be prosecuted, BBC News reports, saying she feared that if they were not held accountable similar abuse could take place in other sports.

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Other former gymnasts including Mckayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols also testified to the Senate Judiciary committee about how they ‘suffered and continue to suffer’, with Maroney accusing the FBI of showing ‘silence and disregard for my trauma’.

FBI director Christopher Wray apologised for the ‘reprehensible conduct’ and ‘fundamental errors’ laid out in a Department of Justice report on the FBI’s investigation published in July.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, 8am–10pm Monday to Friday, 9am–6pm weekends. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: News, FBI, Now, simone biles

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BBC News
  1. BBC News

    Simone Biles: 'I blame system that enabled Larry Nassar abuse'