US Gymnastic star Simone Biles opened her testimony at the Senate hearing by saying that she could "imagine no place that I would be less comfortable right now than sitting here...sharing these comments."
Biles said that she is a survivor of sexual abuse. She said that the abuse that she suffered happened in part because USA Gymnastics "failed to do their jobs."
"I am also a survivor of sexual abuse. And I believe without a doubt that the circumstances that led to my abuse and allowed it to continue, are directly the result of the fact that the organizations created by Congress to oversee and protect me as an athlete – USA Gymnastics (USAG) and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) – failed to do their jobs," she said.
The athlete said that along with disgraced and imprisoned former USA gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, she blamed "an entire system that enabled and perpetuated his abuse."
"I don't want another young gymnast, Olympic athlete or any individual to experience the horror that I and hundreds of others have endured before, during and continuing to this day, in the wake — of the Larry Nassar abuse," Biles said with her voice cracking with emotion.
"To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse. USA gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic committee knew that I was abused by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge," she told the committee.
She added that even though USA Gymnastics knew that she was abused, the FBI never contacted her about their investigation into sex abuse claims.
"In May of 2015, Rhonda Faehn, the former head of the USA Gymnastics Women’s program was told by my friend and teammate, Maggie Nichols, that she suspected I, too, was a victim. I didn’t understand the magnitude of what all was happening until the Indianapolis Star published its article in the fall of 2016," she said.