US gymnasts to testify about Nassar abuse before Senate committee

Silver medallist Simone Biles of the United States wearing a protective face mask looks on at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo July 27, 2021. — Reuters pic
Silver medallist Simone Biles of the United States wearing a protective face mask looks on at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo July 27, 2021. — Reuters pic

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WASHINGTON, Sept 14 — US Olympic and world champion gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman are to testify before a Senate committee on Wednesday looking into FBI failures in investigating sexual abuse by former team doctor Larry Nassar, the committee said.

Nassar, 58, is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty in late 2017 and early 2018 to sexually assaulting women and girls while working as a sports medicine doctor at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University (MSU).

Some 265 women — including Olympians, gymnasts and collegiate athletes — accused Nassar of sexually abusing them over a more than two-decade career.

Biles, Maroney, Raisman and another former gymnast, Maggie Nichols, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the “FBI’s dereliction of duty in the Nassar case,” the committee said Monday.

FBI Director Christopher Wray and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will also testify but in a separate session.

Horowitz’s office was the author of a damning report published in July that looked into the FBI’s handling of accusations against Nassar.

It found that despite the “extraordinarily serious nature of the allegations” against Nassar, senior officials in the Indianapolis Field Office of the FBI failed to respond with the “utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved.”

USA Gymnastics reported Nassar to the FBI in July 2015, but he continued to see patients at MSU until a newspaper exposed him in September 2016.  — AFP

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