U.S. gymnast Simone Biles shows her bronze medal for the balance beam at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo on August 3. On Wednesday, she will testify in the Senate in the Larry Nassar case. File Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Four American Olympic champions will appear in Congress on Wednesday to give testimony at a hearing into missteps by federal investigators in the sexual abuse case against former Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
The Senate judiciary committee hearing, called "Dereliction of Duty: Examining the Inspector General's Report on the FBI's Handling of the Larry Nassar Investigation," is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. EDT.
Among those scheduled to give testimony are gymnasts Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Maggie Nichols and McKayla Maroney, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Their testimony will be part of the committee's investigation into "numerous and fundamental" investigative failures by the FBI that were found by Horowitz's office and outlined in a 119-page report in July.
Wednesday's Senate hearing is a direct result of the inspector general's report.
"The FBI's failure in this case led to more athletes being victimized," committee Chair Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said in a statement.
"This committee has the responsibility of oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation -- and will hold a hearing to examine this injustice and to prevent future, similar tragedies."
Nassar is serving 40 to 175 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to charges of child pornography and tampering with evidence in 2017 and sexual assault of a minor in 2018. More than 150 female athletes testified in court that Nassar had abused them under the guise of treatment.
Horowitz's report said FBI investigators failed to properly document assault accusations and made false statements regarding the case.
FBI field offices took complaints involving Nassar as early as 2016, the report noted, and the bureau's Indianapolis field office interviewed only one of three athletes who were made available to them. Authorities also failed to transfer the matter to the Lansing, Mich., office after they were told to do so and failed to inform local authorities.
"[Horowitz's] report confirms my fears that the FBI dropped the ball, allowing abuses to continue for months," ranking committee member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement.
"The FBI owes the American people an accounting for its failure to protect these children and explanation for how it plans to do better in the future."
USA Gymnastics and a committee representing survivors said last week they have agreed to a $425 million settlement, which could bring an end to the long-running saga. The settlement must be approved by bankruptcy creditors and a majority of the victims, which number about 500.
"I want to thank the inspector general for his review and hope this hearing will provide the survivors with more answers and ensure that claims of assault and demands for help won't be ignored in the future," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement about Wednesday's hearing.