USA Gymnastics suspends ex-coach Geddert
USA Gymnastics has suspended former U.S. women’s national team coach John Geddert, the owner of the Twistars gymnastics club near Lansing, as the fallout from the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal continues to spread.
Nassar, a disgraced former USA Gymnastics sports doctor, pleaded guilty last year to sexual abuse charges involving a girl under 13 and two teenagers at Twistars.
USA Gymnastics did not disclose its reasons for suspending Geddert, whose only comment came in a statement last March in which he expressed “zero knowledge” of the allegations against Nassar.
Geddert was the U.S. coach at the 2012 Olympics, where the team won its first title in women’s gymnastics since 1996. He was also the personal coach of 2011 national champion Jordyn Wieber, who last week was among the victims who confronted Nassar during his sentencing hearing along with fellow Olympian Aly Raisman.
Geddert's suspension followed the resignation of the executive leaders on the board of the governing body for USA Gymnastics.
USA Gymnastics Board of Directors' Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder and Treasurer Bitsy Kelley all tendered their resignations, effective Sunday, according to Kerry Perry, the organization's president and CEO.
She said the Board of Directors will name an interim chairperson until a permanent selection is found.
"USA Gymnastics thanks Paul Parilla, Jay Binder and Bitsy Kelley for their many years of service to this organization," Perry said in a statement Monday. "We support their decisions to resign at this time. 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.”
Their resignations also come days after USA Gymnastics announced it would no longer allow the famed Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas, to serve as a national team training center.
Nassar worked as national team doctor to treat some of the country’s greatest gymnasts at the ranch. Many of those athletes would later accuse him of abuse there.
The former Michigan State University doctor has admitted to sexually assaulting the gymnasts, possessing child pornography and molesting girls who sought treatment in several cases against him in Michigan.
Attorney John Manly, who represents more than 110 of Nassar's victims, said USAG needs to do more to address their concerns.
"In speaking with some of our clients this morning, all of them wondered whether USAG will change the position they have taken in court that USAG had no duty to warn its member gymnasts even though they knew Larry Nassar was a molester.," he said in a statement "Until that happens, this move is simply a public relations ploy to save a sinking ship of an organization.
"On behalf of our clients and all Nassar survivors we also call on United States Congress to immediately schedule hearings and investigate the United States Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University in connection with the Larry Nassar scandal."
Detroit News staff writers Mark Hicks, Charles E. Ramirez and the Associated Press contributed.