Three USA Gymnastics Board Members Quit After Revelations Of Doctor’s Sexual Abuse
Three members of American gymnastics’ governing body, including its chairman, have resigned following severe pressure from a case involving a team doctor’s molestation.
USA Gymnastics doctor sex abuse scandal
Scores of young female gymnasts have delivered jarring but powerful testimonies in a Michigan courtroom to discuss their victimization at the hands of longtime national team physician Dr. Lawrence Nassar.
Nassar, who also worked at Michigan State, has been accused by more than 140 women of sexual abuse. He was previously sentenced to 60 years in federal court for possessing child pornography.
The officials who resigned Monday included board chairman Paul Parilla, the vice chairman, Jay Binder; and the board’s treasurer, Bitsy Kelley.
“We support their decisions to resign at this time,” the federation’s president Kerry Perry said in a statement posted on Twitter. “We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization.”
“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 organization.” – Kerry Perry, president and CEO.
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) January 22, 2018
Maroney — who competed with Team USA at the London 2012 Olympics — reportedly paid a settlement to remain silent about Nassar’s abuse, and recent reports stated she was also forced to pay an exorbitant fine for reporting his behavior. Celebrities Chrissy Teigen and Kristen Bell offered to help Maroney to pay off the fine.
“Larry, you do now realize that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time are now a force, and you are nothing,” said Raisman in her address in front of Nassar in court.
Both USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee have been criticized for their handling of the case around Nassar, although the latter praised the resignations.
“New board leadership is necessary because the current leaders have been focused on establishing that they did nothing wrong,” USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said in his statement. “The Olympic family failed these athletes and we must continue to take every step necessary to ensure this never happens again.”
Mark Jones, a spokesman for the USOC, said top Olympic Committee officials met with Parilla on Jan. 11 to ask him to resign.
USA Gymnastics severed ties last week with Karolyi Ranch, the training center for the women’s national team where most of the abuse allegedly occurred.
The #MeToo movement of women in dozens of industries — sports, entertainment, journalism, tech — who have spoken out about sexual harassment at the hands of powerful men have resulted in many of the predators being fired or convicted. However, this marks one of the few instances in which members of a governing body associated with the misconduct have been forced to resign.
Watch 23-year–old Raisman’s brave statement (delivered Friday) below:
SAN JOSE, CA – JULY 10: Alexandra Raisman competes on the balance beam during Day 2 of the 2016 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Olympic Trials at SAP Center on July 10, 2016 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)