Watch live as Simone Biles and other Olympic gymnasts testify at Larry Nassar hearing
Nassar, who is currently serving a 40 to 175-year prison sentence for seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, was accused of abuse by more than 150 women – including Ms Biles and fellow gymnast stars Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols, who are also to testify on Wednesday (15 September).
The Senate Judiciary Committee is looking into the allegations made against Nassar in 2015, and a Department of Justice Inspector General’s report released in July that found Indianapolis FBI officers did not respond to allegations made by more than 100 athetes “with the utmost seriousness and urgency that the allegations deserved and required”.
The report suggested the FBI office did “limited follow-up” following the claims of abuse against Nassar, and that he continued to work with young athletes for a year after complaints were raised.
In this time, according to the report, he allegedly abused more than 70 young atheletes who were under his medical care.
The publication of the report also saw the dismissal of one FBI agent as part of an internal investigation into the abuse allegations.
Tearful Simone Biles speaks at Larry Nassar hearing – follow live
Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast of all time, was driven to tears during her emotional and raw opening statement labeling Larry Nasser as her abuser and the broader US gymnastics and Olympic spheres as responsible for allowing the crimes to continue.
Her opening statement came before other powerful messages from Maggie Nichols, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney.
“[T]he organizations created by Congress to oversee and protect me as an athlete, USA Gymnastics, and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, failed to do their jobs,” she said.
“I don’t want another young gymnast, Olympic athlete, or any individual to experience the horror that I and hundreds of others endured…in the wake of the Larry Nasser abuse,” she said, before pausing and saying tearfully: “I blame Larry Nasser, and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse.”
John Bowden15 September 2021 16:03
FBI criticised over investigation
Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee targeted the FBI with harsh criticism at Wednesday’s hearing, accusing the agency of gross mismanagement of the Larry Nassar investigation.
Multiple lawmakers teed off on the agency over revelations indicating that at least one agent on the investigation was actively pursuing a job with USA Gymnastics while participating in the investigation; various field offices were also lambasted for slow-walking the transfer of evidence and taking claims of Mr Nasser’s crimes seriously.
“It’s not only that the FBI failed to do its job, systematically and repeatedly. It is also the cover-up,” said Sen Richard Blumenthal.“This investigation was mismanaged from coast-to-coast,” he added.
Harriet Sinclair15 September 2021 15:44
Hello and welcome to today’s coverage of the Larry Nassar hearing.
Tom Parfitt15 September 2021 15:35