USA Gymnastics never followed up with Simone Biles after she expressed concerns about Larry Nassar in 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Biles was one of three female gymnasts — the others were Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman — who had been identified as “uncomfortable” with Nassar, but Biles did not learn of USA Gymnastics’ investigation into his conduct until after the Rio Olympics, according to the report. She was not interviewed by the governing body’s hired investigator before the claims of Nassar’s abuse went public, per the WSJ.
It was only after she publicly announced in 2018 she had been abused by Nassar that USA Gymnastics followed up.
“For too long I've asked myself, “Was I too naive? Was it my fault?" I now know the answer to those questions. No. No, it was not my fault. No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG, and others,” BIles wrote in her announcement.
Biles declined to be interviewed for the WSJ report, but her parents provided the following statement:
"We continue to struggle with how and why this happened, and every time we hear something new like this, it feels like the harshest of betrayals and it is just too painful for our family to talk about openly," Biles' parents, Ron and Nellie, said.
Former director of USA Gymnastics’ women’s program Rhonda Faehn testified in 2018 that she had learned of Nichols, Raisman and Biles’ concerns, and alerted then-USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny through a handwritten note she provided to Congress — which did include Raisman and Biles’ names. But through lawyers, Penny denied to the WSJ that he was told about Biles.
He did, however, admit he knew by mid-2015 that USA Gymnastics “might want to talk to” Biles about Nassar. Penny also talked to Faehn via email about scheduling an interview between Biles and USA Gymnastics’ private investigator — but that never happened.
The investigator did interview Raisman, and just two weeks after the alleged email exchange between Faehn and Penny, USA Gymnastics contacted the FBI. When Penny met with the FBI, he brought up Nichols, Raisman, and McKayla Maroney, but not Biles, according to the WSJ.
Biles met with the FBI in the “fall” of 2016, and it was then she realized she had been abused.
The Indianapolis Star first published two gymnasts’ bombshell accounts of Nassar’s abuse on Sept. 12, 2016, and Nassar was effectively sentenced to life in prison in 2018.
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