USA Gymnastics

USA Gymnastics statement from CEO Kerry Perry

1 Comment

USA Gymnastics hosted the American Cup on Saturday during a tumultuous time.

In January, Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University team doctor, was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison on multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct.

More than 150 women spoke at his sentencing, many critical of USA Gymnastics’ handling of the Nassar affair and its overall culture.

Shortly after, the entire USA Gymnastics board resigned under pressure from the U.S. Olympic Committee. An interim board was recently appointed with six independent members added earlier this week.

On Wednesday, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun also resigned, citing ongoing health issues resulting from prostate cancer.

USA Gymnastics is searching for a replacement for women’s national team director Valeri Liukin, who resigned last month, citing stress from the present climate. Liukin was not named in any lawsuits against USA Gymnastics.

A statement from new USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry:

“There is no doubt that all of us have been forever changed by the courageous women who shared their deeply personal experiences in the sentencing of Larry Nassar. I was in the courtroom to listen to the incredibly brave women explain in vivid and painful detail the impact he had on their lives. The best way to honor our athletes is to ensure that we do everything we can to prevent this from happening again by making bold decisions and holding ourselves to the highest standards of care. We have already taken steps to strengthen our safe sport efforts, including adopting the Safe Sport Policy; requiring mandatory reporting; prohibiting one-on-one interactions and grooming behavior; simplified reporting; educating members regarding safe sport; continuing to implement all of the Deborah Daniels recommendations, of which 80 percent already are being implemented; and building an Athlete Task Force. The National Gymnastics Foundation, in cooperation with USA Gymnastics, has established an Athlete Assistance Fund to provide the financial means and guidance for gymnasts who have suffered sexual abuse in the sport of gymnastics to obtain counseling services. Our work is far from being done, and we are committed to further building an environment that empowers and supports our athletes as they develop the confidence, character and life skills that will allow them to succeed. We hope everything we do going forward makes this very clear. We need the gymnastics community to join with us to accomplish this for both the young men and women who are pursuing their gymnastics dreams today and to honor those who have gone before.

USA Gymnastics is committed to creating a culture that empowers and supports our athletes. The organization has and will continue to take specific and concrete steps to promote athlete safety and prevent future abuse by adopting and vigorously enforcing the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy, which requires mandatory reporting, defines six types of misconduct, sets standards to prohibit grooming behavior and prevent inappropriate interaction, and establishes greater accountability. Other efforts taken to strengthen that commitment include establishing a dedicated, toll-free number, 833-844-SAFE, the safe sport email address of, and online reporting to simplify the process for reporting; building a safe sport department that is developing a comprehensive education plan for members; and adopting bylaw amendments to provide the basis for further developing our safe sport programs and governance. The National Gymnastics Foundation, in cooperation with USA Gymnastics, also has established an Athlete Assistance Fund to provide the financial means and guidance for gymnasts who have suffered sexual abuse in the sport of gymnastics to obtain counseling services. The Athlete Assistance Fund, a designated fund of the National Gymnastics Foundation, will be administered by an independent third party.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Simone Biles forecasts retirement date

Aly Raisman files suit against USOC, USA Gymnastics


Aly Raisman spent months urging the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics to get serious about taking a long, hard look into how Larry Nassar‘s abusive conduct was allowed to run unchecked for so long.

Frustrated by what she considers a lack of progress, the six-time Olympic medalist hopes she can get some answers in court.

Raisman filed a lawsuit against both organizations, claiming they “knew or should have known” about abusive patterns Nassar, a disgraced former national team doctor now in prison for sexually abusing young athletes.

Raisman filed the lawsuit in California on Wednesday.

The filing alleges negligence by the USOC and USA Gymnastics for failing to make sure appropriate protocols were followed in regards to monitoring Nassar.

Nassar, who is named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit, is serving decades in prison for molesting some of the sport’s top athletes and others as well as child pornography crimes.

The 23-year-old Raisman, captain for both 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic champion gymnastics teams, says she was abused by Nassar in multiple locations beginning in 2010, including at the U.S. national team training facility at the Karolyi Ranch training center in Texas and the London Games.

Raisman said she initially felt she was receiving medically necessary treatment by Nassar before realizing it was abuse. She battled shame, guilt and depression in the aftermath, Raisman said.

Nassar spent nearly three decades at USA Gymnastics before being fired in 2015 after complaints about his behavior. He continued to work at Michigan State University through fall 2016 before being hit with federal charges.

Raisman said the USOC and USA Gymnastics allowed Nassar to continue abusing athletes by not telling the university about the conduct that led them to fire him.

USA Gymnastics and the USOC broke their stated mandates to protect children in their programs by not revealing Nassar’s past misconduct to athletes and their parents or guardians, the lawsuit said.

Raisman joined a list of more than 100 civil actions filed against Nassar and USA Gymnastics. Olympic teammate McKayla Maroney named the USOC as a co-defendant in a lawsuit she filed last December.

USA Gymnastics and the USOC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

Raisman, who has become a vocal critic of both organizations after initially revealing the abuse in her autobiography released last fall, did not plan to go to court but says she felt compelled to press forward because she believes USA Gymnastics and the USOC are not making a sincere effort to “properly address the problem.”

“I refuse to wait any longer for these organizations to do the right thing,” Raisman said in a statement. “It is my hope that the legal process will hold them accountable and enable the change that is so desperately needed.”

The USOC is conducting an independent review of when former CEO Scott Blackmun and others learned the details about abuse cases at USA Gymnastics and whether they responded appropriately.

Blackmun stepped down earlier this week to deal with prostate cancer, though Raisman, several high-profile gymnasts and two U.S. Senators called for his ouster for weeks.

USA Gymnastics underwent a massive overhaul in the last year.

Former president Steve Penny, named as a co-defendant in Raisman’s lawsuit, resigned last March. Longtime chairman of the board Paul Parilla, another co-defendant in the suit, and the rest of the board stepped down in January under heavy pressure from the USOC. USA Gymnastics also ended its relationship with the Karolyi Ranch in January and is currently searching for a new training center.

Raisman doesn’t believe either organization is going far enough fast enough for future generations of athletes.

“It has become painfully clear that these organizations have no intention of properly addressing this problem,” Raisman said. “After all this time, they remain unwilling to conduct a full investigation, and without a solid understanding of how this happened, it is delusional to think sufficient changes can be implemented.”

Raisman’s lawsuit claims both organizations focused on medals instead of the well-being of the athletes, a model that allowed Nassar’s behavior to go unchecked for years.

The lawsuit says the USOC “had a culture and atmosphere that conceals known and suspected sexual abusers, which transcends all policies and procedures that are set-in place.” Raisman believes the USOC ignored its own mandates “to protect its reputation and blind itself to known abusers within the ranks of the NGBs (National Governing Bodies) for which it is responsible.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Watch and read Aly Raisman’s speech facing Larry Nassar

USA Gymnastics board of directors to resign

USA Gymnastics
Getty Images
1 Comment

The rest of the USA Gymnastics board of directors will resign before a Jan. 31 deadline to avoid decertification.

“USA Gymnastics will comply with the USOC requirements,” USA Gymnastics said Friday, according to NBC News.

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun wrote in a letter to USA Gymnastics that the board had to resign, or the national governing body would be terminated.

“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,” Blackmun wrote in the letter outlining multiple required steps, not just the board resignations. “Our position comes from a clear sense that USAG culture needs fundamental rebuilding.”

Three USA Gymnastics board leaders, including chairman Paul Parilla, resigned Monday amid the Larry Nassar sentencing, where more than 150 women (not all gymnasts) came forward as survivors.

Blackmun wrote that a fourth board member also resigned. The full USA Gymnastics board members list is here.

USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny was forced out last year.

In a previous statement, Blackmun said the USOC has been discussing changes with leaders at USA Gymnastics since October.

“Those discussions accelerated over the holidays,” Blackmun said. “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.”

USA Gymnastics’ new CEO, Kerry Perry, said Monday that the organization supported the three announced resignations.

“We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Raisman: Facing Larry Nassar was like competing at Olympics