USA Gymnastics board leaders resign under pressure amid Larry Na - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

USA Gymnastics board leaders resign under pressure amid Larry Nassar furor

Posted: Updated:
Nassar speaks to his attorney Shannon Smith on Thursday. Photo by Brendan McDermid / Reuters Nassar speaks to his attorney Shannon Smith on Thursday. Photo by Brendan McDermid / Reuters
NBC -

Three leaders of USA Gymnastics, the national governing body for the Olympic sport, resigned under pressure Monday after months of criticism stemming from the sex-abuse scandal over former team doctor Larry Nassar.

Board of directors Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder and Treasurer Bitsy Kelley stepped down nearly 10 months after former president and chief executive Steve Penny was pushed out.

READ MORE | Larry Nassar complains it’s too hard to listen to victim stories

"We support their decisions to resign at this time," said the current president and CEO, Kerry Perry. "We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization.

"As the board identifies its next chair and fills the vacant board positions, we remain focused on working every day to ensure that our culture, policies and actions reflect our commitment to those we serve."

USA Gymnastics has been under fire from some of the biggest names in the sport — Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Jordyn Wieber — who say they were molested by Nassar.

The organization, which selects the national and Olympic teams, was accused of trying to keep a lid on the scandal, waiting five weeks to alert the FBI to a gymnast's complaint, failing to notify Michigan State University that one of its doctors had been accused, and having Maroney sign a secrecy agreement as part of a settlement.

The leadership then failed to show up at a congressional hearing on its handling of abuse allegations. And an investigator hired by USA Gymnastics to examine its policies and practices found the federation needed a "complete culture change" in order to protect young athletes.

The criticism gained momentum in recent months after Maroney revealed she had been molested, followed by disclosures from her "2012 "Fierce Five" teammates Raisman, Wieber and Gabby Douglas, and 2016 gold-medalist Simone Biles.

Nassar's sentencing hearing, which began last week in Michigan, brought more attention to the accusations against USA Gymnastics.

In a fiery victim impact statement, Raisman told Perry she had inherited an organization that was "rotting from the inside."

"While this may not be what you thought you were getting into, you will be judged by how you deal with it," she said.

"A word of advice — continuing to issue empty statements of empty promises, thinking that will pacify us, will no longer work."

A day earlier, USA Gymnastics had announced it was severing ties with the Karolyi Ranch, where it held training camps and where some gymnasts said they were molested by Nassar. Raisman said the announcement failed to note there were children training at the ranch that very day.

"U.S.A. Gymnastics, where is the honesty?" she continued. "Where is the transparency? Why must the manipulation continue?"

Weather

Powered by Frankly