Sunday, April 21, 2019 | ePaper
US Olympic moves to disband USA Gymnastics body
The United States Olympic Committee said Monday it had begun moves to disband the country's governing body for gymnastics, accusing the sport's rulers of failing to grapple with the aftermath of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.
USOC chief executive Sarah Hirshland said in a statement Olympic chief had started formal proceedings to revoke USA Gymnastics' status as the governing body for the sport in the United States.
In an open letter addressed to US gymnasts, Hirshland said USA Gymnastics had failed to "change its culture, to rebuild its leadership, and to effectively serve its membership."
"You deserve better," Hirshland told gymnasts in the letter.
USA Gymnastics has lurched from one self-inflicted debacle to the next as it has struggled to rebuild in the wake of the Nassar abuse case, the worst scandal in US Olympic history.
Former US team doctor Nassar was jailed for life earlier this year after abusing more than 250 athletes, including several stars of the United States' gold medal-winning teams at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
The beleaguered governing body, which had been accused of covering up Nassar's crimes, has been in a state of perpetual crisis ever since the scandal erupted.
Last month, newly installed chief executive Mary Bono resigned after just four days following an outcry by Olympic stars Simone Biles and Alexandra Raisman.
Bono had taken over from chief executive Kerry Perry, who had resigned after just nine months after criticism of her performance by USOC.
Perry's departure came after the appointment and swift resignation of elite coach Mary Lee Tracy - who had made comments supportive of Nassar in 2016 when allegations of abuse against him had begun to emerge.