Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, questions the witness panel during the Senate Judiciary Committee Sept. 15 as lawmakers examined if the FBI mishandled its investigation of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was convicted in 2018 of sexually abusing women and young female athletes in his care. He asked what steps need to be taken to better protect athletes beyond what Congress has already put into action. Gymnast Aly Raisman said it’s important to look at the relationship between USA Gymnastics, Olympic and Paralympic committees and the FBI — both in the context of Nassar’s investigation and beyond it.
He also asked the athlete for input on the 2017 Safe Sport legislation and United States Center for SafeSport, a body that came out after legislation by Congress that requires amateur sports organizations to report sexual abuse immediately to law enforcement. Raisman said she feels SafeSport is ineffective because reports are not handled in a timely manner and the center is funded by USA Gymnastics. Gymnast McKayla Maroney added that SafeSport does not give a specific person the obligation to investigate reports, so allegations fall through the cracks.
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