Three members of USA Gymnastics’ board of directors resigned Monday amid one of the largest sexual abuse scandals in U.S. sports history involving disgraced doctor Larry Nassar.
Board chairman Paul Parilla, vice chairman Jay Binder and treasurer Bitsy Kelley all resigned from their positions effective immediately.
“USA Gymnastics thanks Paul Parilla, Jay Binder and Bitsy Kelley for their many years of service to this organization. We support their decisions to resign at this time,” USA Gymnastics president and CEO Kerry Perry said in a statement. “We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization As the board identifies its next chair and fills the vacant board positions, we remain focused on working every day to ensure that our culture, policies and actions reflect our commitment to those we serve.
The resignations come after dozens of gymnasts detailed sexual abuse by national team doctor Larry Nassar, who was a volunteer at USA Gymnastics, at his trial in Michigan. Nassar allegedly abused the girls, some as young as eight years old, under the guise of medical treatment. He has already been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography and faces at least 25 additional years for sexual assault charges.
The women said they trusted Nassar and did not question the treatment, largely because Nassar was endorsed by USA Gymnastics and they were told by the organization that they were lucky to be treated by him.
Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber, Olympians and members of the 2012 Fierce Five women’s team that earned gold in London, gave powerful statements in court last week that sharply criticized USA Gymnastics for not protecting them from Nassar.
Raisman questioned why USA Gymnastics president Perry did not stay for the entirety of the victim impact statements, and asked, “USA Gymnastics, where is the honesty? Where is the transparency? Why must the manipulation continue? Neither USA Gymnastics nor the U.S. Olympic Committee have reached out to express sympathy or even offer support. Not even to ask: ‘How did this happen? What do you think we can do to help?'”
Raisman told TIME in November that while USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny resigned last year, “a lot of people working there let the abuse go on,” referring to the board members. “It’s so disturbing and disgusting that the abuse happened, but it’s equally disturbing and disgusting the way it was handled.”
And Raisman is not the only member of the 2012 team to reveal she was abused by Nassar. Her teammates Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, and Wieber also said they were sexually abused by the osteopathic doctor.
The USA Gymnastics board consists of 18 members, including athlete representatives, in addition to the three top leadership positions.
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