The U.S. Olympic Committee is moving to revoke USA Gymnastics’ status as the governing body for the sport at the Olympic level, meting out the nuclear option to an organization that has botched its own reorganization in the wake of a sex-abuse scandal involving former team doctor Larry Nassar.
In an open letter to the gymnastics community Monday, USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland said “you deserve better,” and that the challenges facing USA Gymnastics are more than it is capable of overcoming as currently constructed.
The organization, even with a newly constructed board of directors, made repeated mistakes after the revelations Nassar molested Olympians while working as a volunteer.
They included the botched hiring of a program coordinator and an interim CEO to replace Kerry Perry, who lasted less than a year on the job after replacing Steve Penny.
“This is a direct result of all the survivors," said attorney John Manly. "These women and girls wanted this happen, not for money and retribution, they advocated for decertification in order to protect children that they will never meet from the USAG culture that coddled child molesters. The next step is for Congress to investigate the United States Olympic Committee and hold accountable those who concealed Larry Nassar’s abuse from law enforcement, our athletes and the public.”
The first gymnast to bring a lawsuit against USAG said the body "has failed to restore the confidence of sponsors and the public."
"All they are capable of producing are cynical PR statements about how much they care about athletes," said Jamie Dantzscher, a 2000 Olympic Bronze medalist. "It is time for this organization to be replaced. My only regret is that it has taken the US Olympic Committee so long to act.”
The Detroit News contributed to this report.