WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – A senate subcommittee heard testimony from Olympic athletes as part of an investigation into Olympic abuse.
The elite athletes spoke passionately about how the national governing bodies failed to protect them.
2000 Olympic bronze medalist Jamie Datzscher told the subcommittee that she felt betrayed by her coaches and USA national staff during the hearing.
Many adults at USA Gymnatics, the United States Olympics Committee, Michigan State Univeristy and in various gyms kept Larry Nassar’s secret,” Datzcher said. “They failed to speak up and they let Nassar assault children.”
Jordyn Wieber, a member of the Fierce Five, the nickname given to the 2012 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team, says she was also abused by Nassar 10 times.
The former USA Gymnastics team doctor was convicted of multiple sex crimes last year.
He’s serving more than 100 years in prison.
“There’s got to be a way to create champions that doesn’t involve abuse, whether it be sexual or physical or emotional,” Wieber said.
The commerce committee which overseas U.S. Olympics and Amateur Sports promised reform to address systemic problems regarding abuse and find ways to better protect all athletes.
“Across Olympic sports there are stories of young athletes who have been victimized,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT. “We want to fight it, correct it and prevent it from happening again.”
Wieber is among the athletes who have filed individual lawsuits against the U.S. Olympic organization and Michigan State University.
The subcommittee also plans to hold another hearing to get testimony from USA Olympics and Michigan State University.