Ex-USA Gymnastics leaders slated for Senate hearing on abuse

Getty Images
0 Comments

Former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny and former women’s program head Rhonda Faehn are scheduled witnesses for a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on abuse in Olympic sports next Tuesday.

“The hearing will focus on how past processes to protect our Olympic athletes from abuse have failed to keep athletes safe and explore current efforts to provide a safe environment for amateur athletes,” according to a press release.

The hearing is titled, “Preventing abuse in Olympic and amateur athletics: Ensuring a safe and secure environment for our athletes.”

The witness list, which also includes former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon, is subject to change. A live stream of the hearing will be at www.commerce.senate.gov.

Penny hasn’t spoken to media since resigning on March 16, 2017, after serving in his role while Larry Nassar sexually abused gymnasts both with the national team and at Michigan State.

Simon resigned Jan. 24. Faehn was forced out of USA Gymnastics two weeks ago after serving in her role since 2015.

In summer 2015, a coach overheard U.S. gymnasts Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols discussing Nassar’s pelvic treatments as national team doctor. The coach reported it to Faehn, who reported it to Penny, according to NBC News.

USA Gymnastics has been criticized for not immediately calling police. Though Nassar stopped working with national-team gymnasts, it would be another year before he was fired from Michigan State.

More than 300 women and girls have since said they were sexually abused by Nassar during his two decades with USA Gymnastics and Michigan State.

Nassar pleaded guilty to molesting women and girls under the guise that it was treatment. He was also found to have child pornography and is serving prison sentences that will likely keep him locked up for life.

Acting U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Susanne Lyons and leaders of USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming, USA Volleyball, USA Taekwondo and the U.S. Center for SafeSport testified at a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on sexual abuse within the U.S. Olympic community last Wednesday.

On April 18, four Olympic sports athletes, including 2012 Olympic champion gymnast Jordyn Wieber, testified at a Senate subcommittee hearing on the role of national governing bodies in protecting athletes from abuse.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Lawmakers chock back tears, scream at Olympic sport leaders for scandals