Gymnastic champions Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman joined forces to pressure Congress to terminate the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s board of directors after it allegedly failed to protect them from longtime team doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse, as The Wall Street Journal reports. Nassar abused an estimated 300 young athletes under the guise of medical treatment and was sentenced to 100 years in prison in 2018.
The elite gymnasts sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday calling for the dissolution of the USOPC board.
“We make this request after years of patience, deliberation, and unrequited commitment to learn from our suffering and make amateur sports safe for future generations,” the gymnasts wrote. “We believe the Board’s past actions demonstrate an unwillingness to confront the endemic problems with abuse that athletes like us have faced and a continued refusal to pursue true and necessary reform of the broken Olympic system.”
They added that USOPC “took no investigative action after learning that Nassar was an abuser.”
The gymnasts said that some of the USOPC officials that were in place in 2015-16, when they say USOPC first heard of the allegations, are still in positions of power.
They appealed to Congress to replace the USOPC board with “leadership willing and able to do what should have been done long ago: Responsibly investigate the systemic problem of sexual abuse within Olympic organizations—including the USOPC—and all efforts to conceal it.”
Last month, Biles, Maroney, Nichols and Raisman testified before Congress about how the FBI mishandled its investigation into abuse allegations against Nassar.