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Biles, others to testify on FBI failures to investigate gymnastics abuse

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USA's Simone Biles, seen here between sessions in the women's team qualifying at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on July 24, 2021, is set to testify Wednesday about USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

WASHINGTON — Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles and McKayla Maroney are set to be among witnesses at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday on how the FBI investigated allegations that former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused athletes.

Olympian Aly Raisman and collegiate gymnast Maggie Nichols also are scheduled to testify, and FBI Director Christopher Wray is set to appear separately along with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Nassar was team doctor for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team for almost two decades. More than 100 women accused Nassar of sexual abuse. He was convicted on a variety of state and federal charges and is serving sentences that amount to life without parole.

The four gymnasts testifying on Wednesday all have publicly said they were abused by Nassar. A report by Horowitz in July found that senior officials in the Indianapolis Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation failed to urgently respond to allegations of sexual abuse of athletes by Nassar, taking more than a year to gear-up its investigation.

The report said the Indianapolis office made “fundamental errors” when it did respond to the allegations, did not properly document its findings, failed to notify the appropriate FBI field office. or state or local authorities of the allegations — and failed to take other steps to mitigate the ongoing threat posed by Nassar.

“When the FBI’s handling of the Nassar matter came under scrutiny from the public, Congress, the media, and FBI headquarters in 2017 and 2018, Indianapolis officials did not take responsibility for their failures,” the inspector general’s report said.

The FBI’s failures “enabled the continued abuse of additional victims,” according to a statement from the committee.