USOC moves to shut down USA Gymnastics after Nassar scandal

Nov 6, 2018 by

The U.S. Olympic Committee took steps Monday to decertify USA Gymnastics as the governing body for the sport at the Olympic level, choosing the nuclear option for an organization that botched its own rebuilding attempt in the wake of a sex-abuse scandal involving former team doctor Larry Nassar.

In an open letter to the gymnastics community, USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland said “you deserve better,” and that the challenges facing USA Gymnastics are more than it is capable of overcoming as currently constructed.

The USOC itself also has faced criticism for not responding quickly and appropriately to sex abuse cases, and though the move was cheered by the gymnast whose own revelations helped propel Nassar’s years of abuse to the fore — `’THANK YOU,” tweeted Rachel Denhollander — others viewed it as a ploy to shift blame for the scandal.

“Today’s announcement by USOC seeks only to deflect from their total failure over decades to protect the gymnasts in their care,” said a statement from attorneys Michelle Simpson Tuegel and Mo Aziz, who represent Olympian Tasha Schwikert and her sister, Jordan, in their lawsuit against USAG and the USOC.

Even with a new board of directors that started in June, USA Gymnastics made repeated mistakes while dealing with the aftermath of revelations that the now-imprisoned Nassar molested Olympians while working as a volunteer. Those included the botched hiring of a program coordinator and an interim CEO to replace Kerry Perry, who lasted barely nine months on the job after the USOC forced out Steve Penny.

The announcement comes only days after the U.S. team brought home nine medals from the World Championships in the first major meet in the lead-up to Tokyo in 2020. Five of those were individual medals won by Olympic champion Simone Biles, who is among the athletes who have not hesitated to criticize the organization.

Simone Biles wins record fourth all-around world title:

Source: USOC moves to shut down USA Gymnastics after Nassar scandal | CBC Sports

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