Sport Biles, Raisman, Maroney, Nichols Ask Congress to Dissolve USOPC Board

05:55  14 october  2021
05:55  14 october  2021 Source:   si.com

Simone Biles on Olympic Games: 'I Should Have Quit Way Before Tokyo'

  Simone Biles on Olympic Games: 'I Should Have Quit Way Before Tokyo' Biles revealed that her withdrawal from team and individual competition went much further than the twisties. © Provided by Sports Illustrated Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Network Simone Biles told New York Magazine she "should have quit" gymnastics before the Tokyo Olympics instead of participating in the Games. Biles, 24, said that the reasons she withdrew from the team competition and four individual events went far beyond a case of the twisties. The twisties refer to a feeling where gymnasts feel lost in the air, preventing athletes from completing skills at their normal ability.

A group of prominent U.S. gymnasts is calling for a new board to "investigate the systemic problem of sexual abuse within Olympic organizations."

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Olympic champions Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman and World champion Maggie Nichols called on Wednesday for Congress to dissolve the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s board of directors in a letter to Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas).

The four gymnasts requested a joint resolution be passed by Nov. 1 under the Empowering Olympians and Paralympians and Amateur Athlete Act of 2020, which the two senators co-authored. The legislation placed more liability on the committee and national governing bodies for sexual abuses by coaches, officials and employees. Additionally, it allows Congress to decertify the bodies or dissolve the board.

Simone Biles on Olympic Games: 'I Should Have Quit Way Before Tokyo'

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All four are survivors of former USOPC and USA Gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar's sexual abuse.

“We believe it is time for Congress to exercise its authority over the organization it created by replacing the entire 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," the group wrote.

They recently testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on sexual abuse allegations against Nassar, who is currently serving a life sentence in prison after being convicted on sexual assault and child pornography charges. It served to investigate the FBI's mishandling of sexual abuse allegations against Nassar.

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“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse,” Simone Biles said in her testimony. "The scars of this horrific abuse continue. The impact of this man's abuse will never be over.

"We have been failed and we deserve answers. It really feels like the FBI turned a blind eye to us."

Per a July report, the Department of Justice concluded that the FBI showed "extremely poor judgement" in the handling of 2015 allegations, adding that FBI agents in Indianapolis made "materially false statements" during interviews with federal officials. The false statements were reportedly made in an effort to "minimize errors made by the Indianapolis Field Office."

The gymnasts wrote in the letter, “Since being aware of Nassar’s abuse, the USOPC’s top priority has been to hide culpability and avoid accountability."

Simone Biles 'Still Scared to do Gymnastics' After Withdrawal From Tokyo Olympics .
Simone Biles shared her struggles in returning to gymnastics after her bouts with "the twisties" in the Tokyo Olympics.Simone Biles detailed her difficulty returning to gymnastics following her withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics and said she is "still scared to do gymnastics.

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