Chicago : The executive leadership of USA Gymnastics’ board of directors has resigned in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal involving former US team doctor Larry Nassar, the governing body announced.
Chairman Paul Parilla, vice chairman Jay Binder and treasurer Bitsy Kelley stepped down following stinging criticism of the organization’s handling of the Nassar case by victims who include Olympic superstar Simone Biles and other gold medallists.
“We support their decisions to resign at this time,” said Kerry Perry, who was named president of USA Gymnastics in November.
“We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization.”
USA Gymnastics has come under fire during the ongoing sentencing hearing for Nassar in Michigan, in which more than 100 gymnasts have given statements against the disgraced former doctor, who faces life in prison.
The board of directors will name interim chairpersons until permanent selections are made as the beleaguered body tries to advance beyond the scandal.
It’s a step the US Olympic Committee (USOC) has been seeking for months, USOC president Scott Blackmun said in a statement stressing the need to focus on the victimized women.
“New board leadership is necessary because the current leaders have been focused on establishing that they did nothing wrong,” Blackmun said.
“USA Gymnastics needs to focus on supporting the brave survivors. The Olympic family failed these athletes and we must continue to take every step necessary to ensure this never happens again.”