Olympic champions Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman and world champion Maggie Nichols on Wednesday called on Congress to dissolve the board of directors of the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee in a letter to Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and to Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kansas).
The four gymnasts have called for a joint resolution to be passed by November 1 under the Olympic, Paralympic and Amateur Athlete Empowerment Act 2020, which the two senators co-wrote. The legislation has placed greater accountability on the committee and national governing bodies for sexual abuse by coaches, officials and employees. In addition, it allows Congress to withdraw certification from bodies or dissolve the board of directors.
All four are survivors of the sexual abuse of Larry Nassar, a former USOPC and USA Gymnastics team doctor.
“We believe it is time for Congress to exercise its authority over the organization it created by replacing the entire USOPC board of directors with leaders willing and able to do what should have been. done a long time ago: responsibly investigate the systemic problem of sexual abuse within Olympic organizations. including the USOPC – and all efforts to cover it up, ”the group wrote.
They recently testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on allegations of sexual abuse against Nassar, who is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted of sexual assault and child pornography. It was used to investigate the FBI’s mismanagement of allegations of sexual abuse against Nassar.
“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that allowed and perpetrated his abuse,” Simone Biles said in her testimony. “The scars of this horrific abuse continue. The impact of this man’s abuse will never be over.
“We have failed and we deserve answers. It really feels like the FBI has turned a blind eye to us.”
According to a July report, the Justice Department concluded that the FBI had shown “extremely poor judgment” in dealing with the 2015 allegations, adding that FBI agents in Indianapolis had made “materially false statements. In interviews with federal officials. The false statements were allegedly made in an attempt to “minimize the errors made by the Indianapolis field office”.
The gymnasts wrote in the letter: “Since learning about Nassar’s abuse, the USOPC’s top priority has been to hide guilt and avoid responsibility.”