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Larry Probst, USOC chairman, to step down

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USOC chairman Larry Probst will step down from the board at the end of the year after 10 years as chair, succeeded by independent board member Susanne Lyons, the USOC acting CEO earlier this year.

“Serving as chairman of the USOC board of directors has been an extraordinary honor and I’m proud of the work we did during my tenure to support American athletes, and advance the Olympic and Paralympic movements,” Probst said in a press release. “I became chairman at a difficult time for the USOC and worked diligently with my colleagues here in the U.S., and around the world, to change the USOC for the better. It’s now time for a new generation of leaders to confront the challenges facing the organization and I have the utmost confidence in Susanne’s and Sarah’s ability to do just that.”

Probst was first elected chairman in 2008, then reelected in 2012 and 2016.

Probst, whose IOC membership is tied to his USOC role, said he will meet with IOC president Thomas Bach later this month as he looks for ways he may stay involved in the Olympic Movement.

Lyons was acting CEO from Feb. 28-Aug. 20, replacing Scott Blackmun, until Sarah Hirshland took over as permanent CEO.

Blackmun stepped down after eight years as CEO in February, citing difficulties with prostate cancer and the federation’s need to urgently move forward to address the sex abuse scandal that has rocked gymnastics.

Lyons was first elected to the board in December 2010 and will serve a four-year term as chair starting Jan. 1.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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U.S. Olympic, USA Gymnastics leaders set for another Senate hearing

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Outgoing U.S. Olympic Committee acting CEO Susanne Lyons, USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry and Michigan State interim president John Engler are scheduled witnesses for a Senate subcommittee hearing next Tuesday on reforms following the Larry Nassar sexual-abuse crimes.

The hearing is titled, “Strengthening and Empowering U.S. Amateur Athletes: Moving Forward with Solutions” and will stream live at https://www.commerce.senate.gov/ on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

“The hearing will focus on changes made by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Gymnastics (USAG), and Michigan State University (MSU) to protect Olympic and amateur athletes from abuse,” according to the subcommittee’s website. “It will examine recent reforms to provide safe environments for athletes and how these reforms are being implemented.”

The subcommittee held hearings April 18 and June 5 with testimonies from gymnasts and other athletes who were abused, former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon and former senior vice president of USA Gymnastics Rhonda Faehn. Former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny also attended the June 5 hearing but refused to answer questions.

Lyons and Perry were questioned at a House subcommittee hearing May 23.

The USOC last Thursday named Sarah Hirshland its new CEO, replacing Lyons, who has been in the role on an interim basis since Scott Blackmun resigned in February. Blackmun, who had been CEO since January 2010, left citing prostate cancer and the USOC’s need to immediately address the USA Gymnastics sexual-abuse scandal.

*Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly reported that Hirshland has replaced Lyons as USOC CEO. Hirshland starts in September, according to the USOC.

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