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Top USA Gymnastics board members resign in wake of abuse case

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published January 22, 2018 at 2:42 p.m. Updated January 22, 2018 at 5:26 p.m.



The chairman, vice chairman and treasurer of USA Gymnastics resigned Monday, heeding calls from the U.S. Olympic Committee and angered gymnasts who say the organization did nothing to protect them after they were abused by former team doctor Larry Nassar.

Paul Parilla, Jay Binder and Bitsy Kelley announced they were stepping down as testimony in Nassar's sentencing hearing in Michigan moved into its second week.

A number of Olympians have been among those testifying. Many have also sued the USOC and USA Gymnastics and called for the sports leaders to leave their jobs.

USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny was forced out last year.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that USOC CEO Scott Blackmun met with Parilla earlier this month and asked for his resignation. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the issue publicly.

In a statement, Blackmun said the USOC has been discussing changes with leaders at USA Gymnastics since October.

"Those discussions accelerated over the holidays and today you have seen three board resignations," Blackmun said. "New board leadership is necessary because the current leaders have been focused on establishing that they did nothing wrong. USA Gymnastics needs to focus on supporting the brave survivors."

The new CEO, Kerry Perry, said USA Gymnastics supported the resignations.

"We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization," she said.

Last week, USA Gymnastics said it would no longer hold training camps at the Karolyi ranch in Texas, where a number of gymnasts said Nassar abused them. That announcement only came after Olympic all-around champion Simone Biles complained that USA Gymnastics hadn't moved to find a different training locale.

Another member of the 2016 team, Aly Raisman, gave compelling testimony last week.

"To believe in the future of gymnastics is to believe in change," she said. "But how are we to believe in change when these organizations aren't even willing to acknowledge the problem?"

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