Biles, Maroney Say FBI 'Turned a Blind Eye' to Abuse Accusations Against Nassar and USAG

USA Gymnastics stars are accusing the FBI of turning a blind eye to former team doctor Larry Nassar's abuse of young female athletes.

Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman testified about their experiences before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. All of the athletes present Wednesday have previously spoken publicly about being abused by Nassar.

"They allowed a child molester to go free for more than a year," Maroney said of the FBI. Maroney also accused the bureau of burying her 2015 report of abuse and later made false claims about what she told them.

In July, the Justice Department inspector general slammed the FBI for making several missteps in its probe. The report stated officials with the Indianapolis FBI office failed to respond to allegations for months, leading to at least 70 athletes being sexually abused.

"In reviewing the OIG report, it really feels like the FBI turned a blind eye to us," Biles said, "and went out of its way to help protect USAG and USOPC."

The inspector general said the FBI field office first learned of the accusations in July 2015 but didn't open an investigation in Michigan, where Nassar was working and the abuse took place, until October 2016.

The report also stated the FBI failed to properly document an interview with one of Nassar's accusers, failed to reach out to other victims and didn't inform other relevant law enforcement agencies of the allegations. Some agents also made false statements during the watchdog's investigation.

Ahead of Wednesday's hearing, the FBI reportedly fired an agent accused of failing to properly investigate the former doctor. The Washington Post reported that Michael Langeman, a supervisory special agent who interviewed Maroney in 2015, lost his job.

Nassar is currently serving a 40- to 175-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in 2018 to seven counts of criminal sexual misconduct. More than 150 women came forward in court saying he sexually abused them.

"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, and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee committee failed to do their jobs," Biles said in an emotional statement.

Biles: FBI Turned Blind Eye Nassar Allegations
Olympic gymnasts, from left to right, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols arrive to testify during a Senate Judiciary hearing about the Inspector General's report on the FBI handling of the Larry Nassar investigation of sexual abuse of Olympic gymnasts, on Capitol Hill, September 15 in Washington, D.C. The athletes accused the FBI of turning a blind eye to allegations of abuse against Nassar. Saul Loeb/Pool/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin said Wednesday that lawmakers believe Nassar abused more than 300 athletes.

Senator Chuck Grassley, the ranking member of the committee, said Wednesday he suspects there is "much more to that story" referring to the inspector general's report.

"This is a serious problem at the heart of the FBI, not a case of a few errant agents," Grassley said.

Raisman told lawmakers in her opening statement that it took the FBI over 14 months to contact her after she requested to be interviewed by investigators, and that she felt pressured by the bureau to consent to Nassar's plea deal.

"It disgusts me that we are still fighting for the most basic answers and accountability over six years later," Raisman said.

Newsweek reached out to the FBI for comment but didn't receive a response before publication.