The United States Olympic Committee has started to make strides towards revoking the status of USA Gymnastics as the sport’s governing body in light of the numerous sexual abuse accusations involving former team doctor Larry Nassar. In an open letter to gymnasts, USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland explained the committee's decision to move forward with exercising their power to review all governing bodies.
"Today the United States Olympic Committee has filed a complaint initiating a Section 8 proceeding against USA Gymnastics, seeking to revoke USAG’s recognition as a member National Governing Body of the USOC," Hirshland wrote. "This is a situation in which there are no perfect solutions. Seeking to revoke recognition is not a conclusion that we have come to easily. In the short-term, we have to work to ensure that USAG gymnasts have the support necessary to excel on and off the field of play. We are building plans to do just that."
Back in September, USA Gymnastics president and CEO Kerry Perry resigned after less than 10 months on the job amid criticism for how she handled the sexual abuse scandal. Under Perry, the organization promoted coach Mary Lee Tracy to elite development coordinator for the women’s team. The move immediately received pushback for Tracy's defense of Nassar.
With USA Gymnastics struggling to find someone in the leadership role that the gymnastics community can unequivocally get behind, the USOC feels like it's a good time to just tear it all down, and build back from the ground up. While Hirshland understands that the current roster of gymnasts are uncertain how this change will impact them, she maintains that everything will continue as normal as they go through the process. "You're no doubt wondering what this means for you and the gymnastics community," she said. "Until the process is completed and a final determination on USAG's status is made, we will work to ensure that gymnastics training and competitions will continue as usual. I do not know how long the process will take, and we will make every effort to proceed quickly."