USA Gymnastics board of directors given January 31 deadline for resignation
The United States Olympic Committee warned USA Gymnastics its entire board of directors to resign by January 31in the wake of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandalother sports Updated: Jan 26, 2018 11:40 IST
The United States Olympic Committee warned USA Gymnastics that its entire board of directors must resign by January 31 for the body to avoid being decertified in the wake of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal.
In a letter addressed to American gymnastics’ governing body, USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun laid out a detailed road map that USAG must follow in order to remain viable.
The six-step plan required all current members of the USAG board of directors to step down by next Wednesday. An interim board including athlete representatives would be appointed in its place, with a permanent board of directors elected within the next 12 months.
Failure of the board of directors to resign by next week would lead to “immediate termination proceedings,” Blackmun warned.
On Wednesday, former US team doctor Nassar was jailed for up to 175 years for the sexual abuse of more than 150 girls and young women in his care.
The victims included several Olympic champions including Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber and McKayla Maroney.
USOC had already announced an independent inquiry into the scandal and demanded that the USAG board resign en masse.
Thursday’s letter went into the timeframe and specific steps USOC expects USAG to follow if it is to survive as a national governing body.
“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. “Our position comes from a clear sense that USAG culture needs fundamental rebuilding.”
Both USOC and USAG have been accused of failing to act decisively at various stages of the Nassar scandal.
As well as the resignation of the board, USAG will be required to invite a USOC liaison to attend every board meeting.
Other steps included full cooperation with the independent investigation into the Nassar scandal. All staff and board members of USA Gymnastics would also need to complete training courses at the US Center for Safe Sport.
Within six months, staff and board members would also need to complete a course in ethics training.
“Every athlete connected in any way with USAG must feel safe, supported, and encouraged to speak freely about threats to their safety ... “ Blackmun wrote. “USAG’s culture must foster this in all ways.”