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Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols. Photo: Saul Loeb/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Four American gymnasts asked Congress to dissolve the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee board of directors on Wednesday over its handling of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal, per the Wall Street Journal.

The big picture: Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols allege in a letter to Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) that the USOPC learned of the Nassar abuse reports in 2015, around the same time as USA Gymnastics, but "took no investigative action," according to WSJ.

Why it matters: The gymnasts say that some USOPC officials who were active in 2015 and 2016 "remain in positions of influence and power."

  • Then-U.S. Olympic Committee chief executive Scott Blackmun ultimately resigned in 2018 in the wake of the scandal, but members who agreed to a generous severance package remain on the board, according to the gymnasts' letter.

Context: Moran and Blumenthal previously co-authored legislation in response to the Nassar scandal that is designed to protect athletes from abuse in U.S. Olympic and Paralympic sports.

  • The law, which is due to take effect at the end of October, will allow Congress to decertify national governing bodies, like USA Gymnastics, and dissolve the USOPC board, according to the OC Register.

Of note: All four testified in the U.S. Senate last month about the abuse, with Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, accusing U.S. Olympic officials, in addition to the FBI and USA Gymnastics, of failing to stop the sexual abuse.

What they're saying: "We make this request after years of patience, deliberation, and unrequited commitment to learn from our suffering and make amateur sports safe for future generations,” the gymnasts wrote, according to WSJ.

  • "We believe the Board's past actions demonstrate an unwillingness to confront the endemic problems with abuse that athletes like us have faced and a continued refusal to pursue true and necessary reform of the broken Olympic system."

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 4 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.