Entire USA Gymnastics board to resign amid sex scandal

January 27, 2018 12:25 pm
People react as former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar listens to impact statements during the sentencing phase in Ingham County Circuit Court, on January 24, 2018, in Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by AFP)
The entire USA Gymnastics (USAG) board of directors will resign amid a sexual scandal involving disgraced former team doctor Larry Nassar.
USAG said Friday that it would comply with the Olympic Committee, which had demanded the board resign by January 13 or lose status as a sports governing body.
In an open letter on Wednesday, USOC chief operating officer Scott Blackmun called for a “full turnover of leadership.”
Nassar was sentenced on Wednesday to between 40 and 175 years in prison by a judge in Michigan for sexually abusing young athletes, including winning gymnasts Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber.
The doctor, who spent more than 20 years with the organization before leaving in 2015, had pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges.
Five directors of the USAG board had earlier said they were stepping down amid the fallout.
The 18 remaining directors on the board said Friday they would follow suit.
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar (C) with defense attorneys  during the sentencing phase in Ingham County Circuit Court, on January 24, 2018, in Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by AFP)
“USA Gymnastics supports the Olympic Committee’s letter and accepts the absolute need of the Olympic family to promote a safe environment for all of our athletes,” the organization wrote in a statement.
“We agree with the USOC’s statement that the interests of our athletes and clubs, and their sport, may be better served by moving forward with meaningful change within our organization, rather than decertification.”
The scandal has sparked a national outcry, prompting the US Congress, Department of Education and USOC to announce further investigations this week.
The probes seek to determine if other sports officials ignored Nassar’s abuses. An investigation in the House of Representatives will also examine allegations of sexual harassment by officials in other sports, including swimming and taekwondo.
“Everyone stood up for him,” Raisman told the ABC. “My work, and the army of survivors, we’re not done yet. We still have to hold these organizations accountable.”
An avalanche of sexual misconduct allegations first surfaced against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in October last year. The scandal has rippled across a wide range of industries.
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