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'We Failed These Athletes': Top US Gymnastics Board Members Resign Amid Sex Abuse Scandal

01-23-2018
Larry Nassar
The huge sex abuse scandal surrounding the former USA National Gymnastics Team Doctor Larry Nassar has led to the top leadership resigning.
 
USA Gymnastics Board Chairman Paul Parilla and board members Jay Binder and Bitsy Kelly resigned Monday.
 
 
Larry Nassar was the doctor for the USA Gymnastics national team, USA Olympic team, and Michigan State University. Last year, he was sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography charges.
 
According to the FBI, over 37,000 images and videos of child pornography were seized from Nassar's home, including a GoPro video of Nassar allegedly molesting girls in a swimming pool.
 
He also pled guilty to 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct for molesting over 100 women during his time as a gymnastics doctor, for which he is facing a minimum sentence of an additional 40 years behind bars.
 
More than 140 women, including multiple former USA Gymnastics national team members, have come forward since the start of Nassar's sentencing trial last week in Ingham County, Michigan, to confront their offender and read victim-impact statements.
 
Olympian and former USAG national team member Aly Raisman addressed Nassar in a statement on Friday where she called out USAG and the USOC – leading to the push for resignations.
 
"At this point, talk is cheap," Raisman said.
 
She continued, "A word of advice, continuing to issue statements of empty promises thinking that will pacify us will no longer work."
 
The day prior to Raisman's statement, Kerry Perry, president and CEO of USA Gymnastics revealed that they had terminated their agreement with the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas, where several athletes say they were abused.
 
 
Raisman also addressed this decision in court, saying that USAG had athletes training at the ranch the same day they released that statement.
 
"USA Gymnastics, where is the honesty? Where is the transparency? Why must the manipulation continue?" Raisman questioned in court.
 
Since then, USAG announced the resignations and U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Chief Executive Scott Blackmun issued a statement agreeing the board needs new leadership.
 
"The Olympic family failed these athletes and we must continue to take every step necessary to ensure this never happens again," Blackmun said.
 
Raisman isn't the only Olympian calling for change. Former Olympian Shawn Johnson East said in a video agreeing with Raisman that USAG and USOC are "quick to capitalize on success" but fail to reach out to athletes in their most important times of need.
 
Johnson East says in her message that success means nothing if it comes at the expense of failing children.
 
She says, "When these little girls have devoted their entire lives to one dream, and they feel scared to voice something that has gone wrong because they feel that dream could be compromised, that is disgusting. I think as it pertains to USA Gymnastics that every single procedure, rule, guideline, rulebook you've ever made needs to be thrown out the window and redone."
 
Nassar's trial continues this week as more than 40 women are left to give their statements.

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