The entire USA Gymnastics board will resign in the wake Larry Nassar sex scandal after the United States Olympic Committee threatened to strip the organisation of all its power if they didn’t stand down.
Five board members, including Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder and Treasurer Bitsy Kelly, have already announced their resignations after Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years for molesting more than 100 women while working as a Team USA doctor.
The USOC have threatened to strip the group of its power to run its sport if the remaining 16 directors did not resign by Wednesday.
The entire USA Gymnastics board will resign in the wake Larry Nassar sex scandal (Nassar in court during the sentencing phase in Ingham County Circuit Court)
A USA Gymnastics spokesperson has since announced that the board ‘will comply with the USOC requirements.’
The US House of Representatives, the US Senate and the US Department of Education on Thursday and Friday joined the USOC in opening broad investigations into possible sex abuse in sports.
Those investigations seek to establish if other sports officials turned a blind eye to doctor Nassar’s abuses and to examine allegations of harassment by officials in other sports, including swimming and taekwondo.
Lou Anna Simon submitted her resignation Wednesday amid an outcry over the school’s handling of allegations against Larry Nassar, who was convicted of sexually abusing minors
Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis tearfully announces his retirement Friday
Aly Raisman, a gold medal winning Olympian who was abused by Nassar, vowed to keep the pressure on sports organizations, to see who else knew about Nassar’s abuse. He worked for the federation through four Olympic Games, but the allegations did not come to light until 2016.
‘Everyone stood up for him,’ Raisman said in an interview with ABC’s ‘The View.’ ‘My work, and the army of survivors, we’re not done yet. We still have to hold these organizations accountable.’
None of the remaining listed directors were immediately available for comment.
Investigators from the U.S. House of Representatives sent letters to the USOC, USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming, USA Taekwondo and Michigan State University, where Nassar also worked, asking questions about sexual abuse. U.S. Senators also announced an investigation earlier this week.
Aly Raisman (pictured after an appearance on The View on Friday), a gold medal winning Olympian who was abused by Nassar, vowed to keep the pressure on sports organizations, to see who else knew about Nassar’s abuse
‘My heart breaks for the survivors of Larry Nassar’s disgusting crimes,’ said U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whose department will also investigate Michigan State University. ‘What happened at Michigan State is abhorrent. It cannot ever happen again.’
The Michigan State University athletic director Mark Hollis, retired on Friday, two days after university President Lou Anna Simon stepped down.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, whose office prosecuted Nassar, confirmed on Friday on Twitter that his office is investigating Michigan State University.
The USOC’s own investigation into how Nassar was able to abuse victims for years will include looking at whether any USOC officials themselves turned a blind eye to his actions.
Nassar, 54, was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison by a Michigan state judge on Wednesday for carrying out the attacks on young girls under the guise of medical treatment. More than 150 accusers recounted their stories in the courtroom.
USOC Chief Executive Officer Scott Blackmun called on Thursday for the resignation of all current members board of USA Gymnastics and outlined six steps that the organization must take to achieve governance reform.
John Geddert (pictured) a gymnastics coach has been suspended by USA Gymnastics in the wake of Nassar’s trial
‘While the USOC encourages USAG to think and act broadly on reforming its culture, we also believe that reform must start with an entirely new board,’ Blackmun wrote in a letter to USA Gymnastics’ board.
USA Gymnastics said in a statement that it ‘completely embraces’ the requirements laid out by Blackmun.
The scandal could take a financial toll on the sports federation for years, sponsorship executives said. The group already stands to lose millions of dollars in revenue through the 2020 Olympic Games, as sponsors back away the executives said.
In Washington on Friday, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, in announcing its investigation, said sports organizations ‘must have mechanisms in place to ensure complete oversight and prevent such abuses from occurring.’
The panel asked Michigan State to disclose if it is aware of any other abuse allegations involving other faculty members.
The U.S. House next week will vote on a bill approved by the Senate in November to require amateur athletics governing bodies to report sex-abuse allegations immediately to law enforcement or a child welfare agency.
The bill makes clear that aspiring Olympic athletes can report allegations of abuse and ensures all national governing bodies follow the strictest standards for child abuse prevention.
Michigan State gymnastics coach Kathie Klages resigned last year after she was suspended for defending Nassar. Klages is accused of downplaying complaints about Nassar in 1997 – 21 years ago. William Strampel , who was dean of Michigan State’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and has been named in lawsuits by victims, announced last month he was taking a leave of absence for medical reasons. Strampel remains a faculty member.
Hollis, like Simon, is a Michigan State graduate. He has been the Spartans’ athletic director since 2008 and was chairman of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee last season. Hollis’ unique ideas include putting hockey and basketball games in football stadiums and a basketball game on an aircraft carrier. One of his best friends is a Michigan State icon: Hall of Fame basketball coach Tom Izzo, the best man at his wedding and a former roommate.