United States gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Maggie Nichols appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to share their thoughts and insights regarding USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuses and how federal law enforcement and gymnastics officials failed his victims.

Biles, who competed in the Tokyo Olympics just months ago, shared a damning critique of the organizations and agencies that failed Nassar’s many victims over the years and helped perpetuate his cycle of abuse.

“I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse,” Biles said while crying. Along with the FBI, she added that 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.”

“I don’t want another young gymnast or 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,” said Biles.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist talked about the need for a message to be sent to those who failed the hundreds of victims, not just the perpetrator of the crimes.

“We suffered and continue to suffer, because no one at FBI, USAG, or the USOPC did what was necessary to protect us,” she said. “We have been failed and we 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.”

“If you allow a predator to harm children, the consequences will be swift and severe. Enough is enough.”

Maroney, now 25 and retired from gymnastics, shared the same details she shared with the FBI in 2015.

“The first thing Larry Nasser ever said to me was to change into shorts with no underwear because that would make it easier for him to work on me, and within minutes, he had his fingers in my vagina,” Maroney said. “The FBI then immediately asked, ‘Did he insert his fingers into your rectum?’ I said, ‘No, he never did.’ They asked if he used gloves. I said, ‘No, he never did.’ They asked if this treatment ever helped me. I said, ‘No, it never did.’ This treatment was 100 percent abuse and never gave me any relief.”

She also detailed the events from a trip to Tokyo, in which Nassar gave her a sleeping pill during the plane ride.

“That evening, I was naked, completely alone, with him on top of me, molesting me for hours. I told [the FBI] I thought I was going to die that night because there was no way that he would let me go. But he did,” said Maroney. She added that the FBI “minimized” her allegations, silenced her, and falsified her report of the abuse.

Aly Raisman, who is also retired from gymnastics, told lawmakers that the FBI took 14 months to interview her about allegations against Nassar and that the FBI, USAG, and USOPC “quietly allowed Nassar to slip out the side door” and continue committing abuse.

In 2017, Nassar pleaded guilty to 10 cases of abuse, though he was accused by over 265 women and girls who claim he molested them. He was forced to hear testimony from many of his accusers before being sentenced. He is currently serving at least 175 years in prison.

An internal Justice Department investigation from July said that the FBI made fundamental errors in their probe and did not treat it with “utmost seriousness” after the allegations were first reported to their Indianapolis office in 2015. The FBI has also acknowledged its own conduct was inexcusable.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was not in charge of the agency at the time, also testified.

“That is inexcusable. That never should have happened, and we’re doing everything in our power to make sure it never happens again,” Wray said. “I’d like to make a promise to the women who appeared here today and to all survivors of abuse, I am not interested in simply addressing this wrong and moving on. It’s my commitment to you that I and my entire senior leadership team are going to make damn sure everybody at the FBI remembers what happened here in heartbreaking detail.”

[AP, NBC News]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, Neighborhoods.com, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle.