Simone Biles urges Congress to remove top US Olympic bosses

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Simone Biles urges Congress to remove top US Olympic bosses
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Members of the US Olympic gymnastics team have asked members of the US Senate to get rid of the US Olympic board of directors over its alleged failings in handling the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case.

In a letter to Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal and Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman asked for the board to be dissolved under the Empowering Olympians and Paralympians and Amateur Athlete Act of 2020.

Ms Biles, Maroney, Nichols and Raisman were all victims of former USOPC and USA Gymnastics team physician, Larry Nassar. The world champions maintain that the board did not adequately deal with sexual abuse allegations and failed for years to take the necessary steps to protect American Olympic athletes.

“We believe it is time for Congress to exercise its authority over the organisation 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 organisations – including the USOPC – and all efforts to conceal it,” wrote the women, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Some victims claim they made complaints about Nassar in 2015, and the four authors of the letter claim the body “took no investigative action”.

Former chief executive of the US Olympic Committee Scott Blackmun did resign in 2018 following the scandal, but other members remain on the board.

“We make this request after years of patience, deliberation, and unrequited commitment to learn from our suffering and make amateur sports safe for future generations,” wrote the four athletes in their letter.

“We believe the Board’s past actions demonstrate an unwillingness to confront the endemic problems with abuse that athletes like us have faced and a continued refusal to pursue true and necessary reform of the broken Olympic system.”

Nassar allegedly molested hundreds of women and girls, under the false appearance of medical treatment. Among his victims were Olympic gold medal winners Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber. Nassar is serving a life sentence without parole after pleading guilty to several charges of sexual assault of minors.

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