Thursday 18 October 2018

Three USA Gymnastics board of directors resign in wake of sex abuse scandal

Larry Nassar
Larry Nassar Newsdesk Newsdesk

Three members of the USA Gymnastics board of directors have resigned in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal within the organisation.

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

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

USA Gymnastics president and CEO Kerry Perry said: "USA Gymnastics thanks Paul Parilla, Jay Binder and Bitsy Kelley for their many years of service to this organisation. We support their decisions to resign at this time. We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organisation.

"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."

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.

Former Olympians Aly Raisman, left, and Jordyn Wieber sit in court (AP)
Former Olympians Aly Raisman, left, and Jordyn Wieber sit in court (AP)

The 54-year-old Nassar was involved with America's world-beating gymnastics programme 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".

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