Olympic Committee Demands Resignation of Entire USA Gymnastics Board After Sex Abuse Scandal

Lauretta  Brown
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Posted: Jan 26, 2018 10:50 AM
Olympic Committee Demands Resignation of Entire USA Gymnastics Board After Sex Abuse Scandal

The U.S. Olympic Committee has demanded the resignation of the entire board of directors of USA Gymnastics by January 31st or the organization will lose its certification as a sports governing body, according to a letter CNN obtained Thursday. The move comes just after former team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced Wednesday to up to 175 years in prison after hundreds of women came forward to say he molested them under the guise of medical treatment.

USA Gymnastics Chairman Paul Parilla, vice chair Jay Binder and treasurer Bitsy Kelley all announced they were resigning Monday, but the sports governing body still has 18 other board positions.

The USOC’s CEO Scott Blackmun wrote, "we do not base these requirements on any knowledge that any individual USAG staff or board members had a role in fostering or obscuring Nassar's actions. Our position comes from a clear sense that USAG culture needs fundamental rebuilding."

In addition to the resignation of the board, USAG has been given 12 months to replace the interim directors and they are required to “cooperate with an independent investigation" into who knew or should have known about the Nassar abuse allegations.

"Please understand that the circumstances that led to this crisis demand our attention and intervention," Blackmun wrote. "These steps are intended to help USAG create a culture that protects and supports its athletes in the way I know we all want to do."

USAG responded with a statement Thursday evening saying that it "completely embraces the requirements outlined" in the letter and "appreciates the opportunity to work with the USOC to accomplish change for the betterment of our organization, our athletes and our clubs."

While this move from the USOC may be a step in the right direction, Olympic medalist Aly Raisman, who gave a victim impact statement against Nassar, slammed the USOC Monday for “taking credit” for resignations at USAG in light of the fact that they initially turned a blind eye to the horrific sex abuse scandal when it first came to light in August 2016.

She is calling for an independent investigation of both the USOC and USAG. 

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) called for a congressional investigation of both organizations Wednesday over their handling of Nassar.