Sport Other Sports US gymnastics bosses quit over sexual abuse scandal

US gymnastics bosses quit over sexual abuse scandal

US Gymnastics bosses resign over sex abuse scandal
Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman testified about Nassar's abuse. Photo: AAP
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Three members of the USA Gymnastics board of directors have resigned amid a sexual abuse scandal within the organisation.

Former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar was jailed last year for 60 years for possessing child sex abuse images on his computer. He has also admitted assaulting female gymnasts, for which he is awaiting sentence.

On Monday, USA Gymnastics announced chairman Paul Parilla, vice-chairman Jay Binder and treasurer Bitsy Kelley had tendered their resignations from the board of directors effective from January 21.

Last week, four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles said she had been abused by Nassar. Former US Olympians Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney have also accused Nassar of sexual abuse.

The 54-year-old Nassar was involved with America’s world-beating gymnastics program from the 1980s until July 2015, when the sport’s national governing body sacked him. More than 130 women have filed civil lawsuits against him alleging abuse.

In announcing the resignation of the three directors, USA Gymnastics restated its commitment to athlete safety, and outlining the steps taken to “promote athlete safety, health and well-being and prevent future abuse by adopting and vigorously enforcing the USA Gymnastics safe sport policy”.

US Gymnastics bosses resign over sex abuse scandal
Nassar in court to hear victim impact statements at his sentencing hearing. Photo: Getty

US Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun welcomed the resignations in a statement.

“Since October of last year, we have been engaged in discussions with leadership of USA Gymnastics about the primary recommendation of the Daniels Report – changing the culture of USA Gymnastics,” it read.

“Those discussions accelerated over the holidays and today you have seen three board resignations. New board leadership is necessary because the current leaders have been focused on establishing that they did nothing wrong. USA Gymnastics needs to focus on supporting the brave survivors.

“The Olympic family failed these athletes and we must continue to take every step necessary to ensure this never happens again.”