Simone Biles and three other top American gymnasts have called for the departure of the entire board of the Olympic and Paralympic Committee of the United States in a letter to Congress. Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols say the USOPC board has taken insufficient action in the abuse case involving team physician Larry Nassar. He was sentenced to 175 years in prison in early 2018 for sexually abusing hundreds of young gymnasts.
Four-time Olympic champions Biles, Maroney, Raisman and Nichols are among those victims. They believe that the national committee has made mistakes in its handling of the scandal. “The board’s actions demonstrate its unwillingness to address the chronic problems of abuse,” the letter said.
The USOPC said in a response that it had already implemented major governance changes in recent years. “The letter to Congress underlines their concern and we find it very courageous of the victims that they continue to raise awareness about these issues. The letter refers to issues that the USOPC has been addressing for more than two years. We continue to do that every day. We have made the most dramatic governance changes in two decades and are fully committed to tackling sexual abuse at every level of sport.”
The entire top of the US gymnastics federation, USA Gymnastics, resigned in 2018 at the urging of the USOPC after the scale of the scandal became clear. The director of the Olympic committee also left during that period. After Nassar’s conviction, the USOPC apologized to the gymnasts for handling the case.
Last month, Biles and other former gymnasts were heard as witnesses by a United States Senate committee investigating possible FBI failures in the Nassar case. The police department would have reacted much too hesitantly when the first signals came in, which allowed the sexual abuse to continue for months.
In the Netherlands, many former gymnasts came out last year with stories about cross-border behavior by coaches. Sports umbrella organization NOC*NSF apologized to the victims on Monday. They will all receive 5000 euros, as compensation for the suffering that has been caused to them.
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Biles pleads for departure from Olympic board: ‘Not done enough to tackle abuse’ Other sports
Source link Biles pleads for departure from Olympic board: ‘Not done enough to tackle abuse’ Other sports