Gymnast Maggie Nichols, who has accused former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar of abuse, said she still has “few answers” six years after reporting it. She accused USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee and the Federal Bureau of Investigation of allowing Nassar to keep abusing others.
Nichols reported Nassar to US Gymnastics in 2015, alleging that his inappropriate touching started when she was 15 and that he also sent her Facebook messages complimenting her looks.
“My Olympic dreams ended in the summer of 2015 when my coach and I reported Larry Nassar’s abuse to USAG leadership,” Nichols told members of Congress.
“I reported my abuse to USA Gymnastics over six years ago, and so my family and I received few answers and have even more questions about how this was allowed to occur and dozens of other little girls and women at Michigan State had to be abused after I reported,” she said.
Nassar also worked for Michigan State University from 1997 until 2016.
“In sacrificing my childhood for the chance to compete for the United States, I am haunted by the fact that even after I reported my abuse, so many women and girls had to suffer at the hands of Larry Nassar,” she said.
Nichols said she was not interviewed by the FBI for more than a year after she reported the abuse.
“The coverup of my abuse and the FBI’s failure to interview me for more than a year after my complaint are well-documented in the OIG report. After I reported my abuse to USA Gymnastics, my family and I were told by their former president, Steve Penny, to keep quiet and not say anything that could hurt the FBI investigation. We now know there was no real FBI investigation occurring. While my complaints [were] with the FBI, Larry Nassar continued to abuse women and girls,” she said.
She said from the day she reported her abuse, she was treated differently by gymnastics officials.
“An important question remains, perhaps the most important question: why? Why would the FBI agents lie to OIG investigators? Why would the FBI not properly document evidence that was received? Why would the FBI agent be interested in the USAG presidency? These questions remain unanswered. The survivors of Larry Nassar have a right to know why their well being was placed in jeopardy by these individuals who chose not to do their jobs,” Nichols said.
“For many hundreds of survivors of Larry Nassar, this hearing is one of our last opportunities to get justice,” she said.