USA Gymnastics Emails Show How Organization Aided Larry Nassar's Pretexts For Absences

Cornelia Mascio
Mag 25, 2018

"Honestly, I'm not reassured by your testimony, because I don't hear a sense of urgency", a visibly angry Rep.

But none of the governing bodies at the hearing received as much criticism as U.S.A. Gymnastics, whose new chief executive, Kerry Perry, spoke publicly about Dr. Nassar's case for the first time and said what so many of his victims would like to hear: I'm sorry.

"My singular goal - and the reason I accepted this mission - is to create a supportive and empowering culture that helps our athletes achieve their gymnastics dreams in a safe environment", said Perry in her opening statement.

Perry gave no explanation for Faehn's removal, and at least five other USA Gymnastics staffers were let go in what the organization called a restructuring that mystified some fans and athletes.

She said she was "appalled and sickened by the despicable crimes" of Nassar and said USA Gymnastics has taken a new course over the last five months to protect athletes.

More than 265 gymnasts accused him of sexual abuse under the committee's watch. The panel, which has investigated issues as disparate as the opioid health crisis, mental health and nuclear waste, had spent several months gathering information about Nassar's abuse and that of coaches in other sports. Lyons, who was named acting CEO of the USOC in March, conceded seven years was too long to get the center up and running.

"The importance of athlete safety can not be overstated", Lyons said in a statement about the latest hire. "We regret it did not open sooner".

Also testifying on Wednesday was Shellie Pfohl, the president and CEO of the US Center for SafeSport, an independent Denver-based body.

"I feel like they haven't lifted a finger, I feel like they just want to move on", Duval told ThinkProgress by phone from Dallas, where she was following updates from the hearing.

Perry, who took over the non-profit that governs the sport after its previous president resigned under fire, will appear before a congressional subcommittee investigating the ability of the Olympic movement to protect athletes from predators.

Perry, who faced the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to answer questions regarding sexual abuse in Olympic sports on Wednesday, outlined the actions USA Gymnastic's has taken in light of Nassar's abuse.

"It's my understanding that he did", Perry replied. "I know we can do better and we will do better".

The documents are the first evidence that USA Gymnastics not only stayed silent after reporting Nassar to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but actively aided in a cover-up.

In addition to her apology, Perry will discuss plans to continue settlement talks with the gymnasts who were sexually abused by Nassar.

"We believe athletes of all levels deserve to participate in sports that are free from bullying, hazing, sexual misconduct or any form of emotional or physical abuse", she said. "Especially the athletes who didn't know where this was going to go".

"They have been able to shrug it off and say, 'It wasn't us!' And they've gotten huge severance packages", Howard said.

Author information: Liz Clarke is on her second stint covering the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post (1998-2001; 2014 onward).

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE