Biles, Maroney, Raisman: US Olympic Committee defends handling of sexual abuse case

Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols

The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee has defended its handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal after four elite-level gymnasts sent a letter to Congress.

Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Maggie Nichols compiled the letter together, calling for the USOPC board to be dissolved.

The gymnasts claimed the "Board's past actions demonstrate an unwillingness to confront endemic problems with abuse."

All four women were among those who came forward with sexual abuse cases against Nassar, who was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison in 2018.

Nassar worked for 18 years as the United States women's national gymnastics team doctor. The allegations started to surface in 2015 and Nassar was sentenced two years later after pleading guilty to child pornography and tampering with evidence charges. 

Simone Biles

Over the course of the following seven months, he pleaded guilty to ten counts of sexual assault, however the real number of Nassar victims is said to be at least 265 girls and young women.

Last month, Biles, Maroney and Raisman testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where they excoriated the FBI's lack of investigation into the sexual abuse cases.

"The letter addressed to Congress underscores their concern, and we recognise the bravery of the athlete survivors who continue to bring these issues forward," the USOPC wrote in a statement provided to Reuters.

"The letter references issues that USOPC has been addressing for more than two years - and the work we continue to do every day."

The statement further added that the USOPC had "implemented the most sweeping governance reforms in nearly two decades" and was "fully committed to addressing sexual abuse at every level of sport".

Simone Biles Tokyo Olympics

During the 2020 Olympics, Biles pulled out of all but one of her scheduled gymnastics finals. While in Tokyo, the four-time gold medallist cited "internal" issues as the main reason, but further expanded on how the Nassar abuse continues to affect her.

"Now that I think of it, maybe in the back of my head, probably, yes," she said during an appearance on the Today Show when asked if it affected her performance at the Games. "Because there are certain triggers that you don't even know. And I think [the abuse] could have [affected me]."

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