USOC Gives US Gymnastics Board 6 Days to Resign or Face Decertification

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2018

Dr. Larry Nassar listens as a victim gives her impact statement during the seventh day of his sentencing hearing Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Lansing, Mich. Nassar has admitted sexually assaulting athletes when he was employed by Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which is the sport's national governing organization and trains Olympians. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun reportedly sent an email to the USA Gymnastics board outlining conditions that must be met. If they are not, USA Gymnastics will face decertification and no longer be the sport's national governing body.

Nancy Armour and Rachel Axon of USA Today reported the news, noting the first condition is the entire board must resign by Wednesday.

Chris Geidner of Buzzfeed News shared the letter:

Chris Geidner @chrisgeidner

BREAKING: Here is the letter the head of the US Olympic Committee sent to USA Gymnastics today, including calling for the whole board to resign by Jan. 31 —> https://t.co/d2BEDsqX9R https://t.co/dmOXsg04a5

This comes after former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician Larry Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison Wednesday, per the Associated Press.

USA Gymnastics faced mounting criticism throughout Nassar's sentencing hearing for its failure to properly deal with his sexual abuse. Gold medalist Aly Raisman, who took on a leadership role through much of the process, said "we need an independent investigation to figure out exactly how this disaster happened" in a tweet even after Nassar was sentenced to prison for the rest of his life.

Armour and Axon noted the chair, vice chair and treasurer of the USA Gymnastics board have already resigned.

In addition to the resignations, Blackmun's email stated an interim board must be in place by Feb. 28 and then in turn replaced within 12 months. The current board members cannot serve on the interim board or in the eventual replacement group.

What's more, there will be an independent investigation to determine who knew about the various complaints against Nassar and didn't take the necessary steps. New members will also undergo training to further prevent something like this from happening again.

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According to Armour and Axon, Nassar was dismissed in July 2015 when a coach grew concerned after hearing about his abuse. "But USA Gymnastics did not notify the FBI for five weeks, conducting its own investigation first," they wrote.

"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 said in his message, via Armour and Axon. "Our position comes from a clear sense that USAG culture needs fundamental rebuilding."

Nassar was already serving a 60-year prison sentence on child pornography charges before Wednesday's sentencing.

He was the team doctor for USA Gymnastics in four different Olympics. The NCAA is also investigating Michigan State's role in the scandal, per Marc Tracy of the New York Times.

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