COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The U.S. Olympic Committee is moving to revoke USA Gymnastics’ status as the governing body for the sport at the Olympic level, meting out the nuclear option to an organization that has botched its own reorganization in the wake of a sex-abuse scandal involving former team doctor Larry Nassar.
In an open letter to the gymnastics community Monday, USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland said “you deserve better,” and that the challenges facing USA Gymnastics are more than it is capable of overcoming as currently constructed.
The organization, even with a newly constructed board of directors, made repeated mistakes after the revelations Nassar molested Olympians while working as a volunteer.
In addition to the open letter, they issued the following statement:
“Today the United States Olympic Committee has filed a complaint initiating a Section 8 proceeding against USA Gymnastics, seeking to revoke USAG’s recognition as a member National Governing Body of the USOC. This is a situation in which there are no perfect solutions. Seeking to revoke recognition is not a conclusion that we have come to easily. In the short-term, we have to work to ensure that USAG gymnasts have the support necessary to excel on and off the field of play. We are building plans to do just that. In the long-term, it will be the critically important responsibility of the recognized Gymnastics NGB, whether the existing organization or a new one, to lead gymnastics in the United States and build on the supportive community of athletes and clubs that can carry the sport forward for decades to come. We are prepared to identify and help build such an organization.”
They included the botched hiring of a program coordinator and an interim CEO to replace Kerry Perry, who lasted less than a year on the job after replacing Steve Penny.
Following USOC’s statement, USA Gymnastics released a response.
Part of it reads, “USA Gymnastics’ board was seated in June 2018 and inherited an organization in crisis with significant challenges that were years in the making. In the four months since, the Board has done everything it could to move this organization towards a better future.”
Larry Nassar is serving his sentence at a federal penitentiary in Florida. His earliest possible release from custody will be in 2069, when he would be 105 years old.