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Three Resign from USA Gymnastics Board
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USA Gymnastics Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder and Treasurer Bitsy Kelley have resigned effective Monday, more than 16 months into sexual abuse scandal that has crippled the sports governing body.

The remaining members of the board will choose an interim chairperson to lead the board until a permament is named, USA Gymnastics said in a statement.

Along with former president and CEO Steve Penny, the three are the only major members of USA Gymnastics to resign since the scandal broke in the summer of 2016 by The Indianapolis Star's investigative series into the organization's handling of sexual abuse over the decades. The scandal turned into tragedy with the revelation that the former team doctor Larry Nassar had sexually abused hundreds if not thousands of gymnasts, athletes and other members of the community for three decades.

The sentencing hearing of Nassar, who pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual assault in two Michigan counties last November, began last Tuesday in Ingham County. He agreed to allow anyone who had filed a complaint against him to deliver a victim impact statement at the hearing, resulting in a parade of survivors and their families sharing their stories of pain and devastation caused by his sexual abuse. Many also spoke out against the organizations and individuals who protected, promoted and enabled Nassar for decades. According to complaints filed in federal court, Michigan State University was notified that Nassar was assaulting girls as early as 1997 and USA Gymnastics was aware of as early as 1998. Both organizations have denied they had any knowledge, even though MSU did its own investigation of Nassar in 2014 and cleared him of any wrongdoing.

USA Gymnastics' leadership has been criticized throughout the scandal for its inaction, "hurtful" and dubious statements, and failure to take any responsibility for its role in the tragedy, particularly that it let Nassar publicly resign in September 2015 but never notified his employer, Michigan State University, or Twistars' Club in Michigan, where he continued to sexually abuse at least 19 more girls and women for one year. The board strongly backed Penny, issuing a letter of support for him months before a letter of apology to the victims. Penny resigned in March 2017 under pressure from the United States Olympic Committee and was given a massive financial payout by the board, with the amount he received never confirmed by the USA Gymnastics. The rumored size of Penny's payout has floated between $1 to $6 million. USA Gymnastics has never set up a fund to help the survivors.

USA Gymnastics has also never reached out to contact any of the survivors nor contacted other national team members or Olympians to see if they had been abused. Olympians Jamie Dantzscher — the first gymnast to file a lawsuit against USAG — McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles have all come forward as survivors of Nassar's abuse. Maggie Nichols revealed earlier this month that she was the first gymnast to report Nassar's abuse in June 2015, after her coach overheard her, Raisman and another gymnast discussing Nassar's "treatments."

USA Gymnastics did not notify any law enforcement for five weeks, and issued a statement that Nichols' and Raisman's statements did not provide any credible allegations of abuse, which prompted outrage from Raisman and others. Despite this astonishing statement, USA Gymnastics has also claimed that Nichols' statement led to Nassar's conviction for sexual assaults in Michigan, which is contrary to known facts in the case. USA Gymnastics have also attempted to avoid liability in the lawsuit by filing a motion to dismiss partly by taking credit for Nassar's conviction by reporting him to the FBI in July 2015, even though the FBI never took any action and had no role in his arrest and subsequent guilty pleas. The FBI has refused comment on why it failed to investigate Nassar or release a report on any action it did take. Nichols' family has confirmed they did not hear from the FBI until July 2016, when she was interviewed shortly before the U.S. Olympic Trials.

"USA Gymnastics thanks Paul Parilla, Jay Binder and Bitsy Kelley for their many years of service to this organization," said Kerry Perry, who took over as president and CEO of USAG in December. "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."

Despite knowledge that many national team members had been sexually abused by Nassar at the Karolyi ranch — and more than 15 years of criticism of the abusive training environment there — USA Gymnastics negotiated to would purchase the ranch as its permanent national training center in July 2016, following Marta Karolyi's retirement that year. Following the revelations about Nassar, USAG announced it would not purchase the ranch, but took no action to find an alternative training center. As of December, its leaderships only actions were discussing plans to solicit Requests for Proposal (RFP) for a new training center. Last week, after Biles revealed she was also abused by Nassar and was traumatized that she was forced to return there for upcoming camps, it caused massive public backlash against USAG. On Thursday, USAG announced it was terminating its least with the ranch, although a junior developmental camp was in process there.

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