The United States Olympic Committee has initiated proceedings to revoke USAG's status as the national governing body for the sport.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
November 05, 2018

The United States Olympic Committee has moved to revoke USA Gymnastics' status as the national governing body for the sport, USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland announced in a statement on Monday.

The move comes after the organization struggled to find leadership in the wake of the Larry Nassar sex-abuse scandal.

"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 said. "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. In the long-term, it will be the critically important responsibility of the recognized Gymnastics NGB, whether the existing organization or a new one, to lead gymnastics in the United States and build on the supportive community of athletes and clubs that can carry the sport forward for decades to come. We are prepared to identify and help build such an organization."

In an open letter to US gymnasts, Hirshland said the USOC ultimately decided to take the first steps after acknowledging that the national organization "continues to struggle to change its culture, to rebuild its leadership and to effectively serve its membership."

In addition to supporting elite and Olympic athletes, USA Gymnastics serves more than 150,000 athletes in 3,000 clubs around the country. There is no other organization standing by to fill that need.

USAG issued a statement saying it was looking at the USOC letter "and is evaluating the best path forward for our athletes, professional members, the organization and staff."

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The news comes after both Kerry Perry and Mary Bono were forced to resign as USA Gymnastics' CEOs. Perry stepped down on Sept. 4 after receiving criticism from former Olympians and current national team members. She had only been on the job since December, when she took over for Steve Penny, who resigned in March 2017 amid the Larry Nassar abuse scandal. After being named the interim CEO and President on Oct. 12, Bono was forced to resign just four days later after experiencing backlash over a tweet about Nike's decision to make quarterback Colin Kaepernick its campaign face.

Hirshland said in the open letter that, "We believe the challenges facing the organization are simply more than it is capable of overcoming in its current form."

Hirshland said that training and competitions will continue as usual until a determination on USAG's status is made.

"Today is only the beginning of an important process for gymnastics in the United States," Hirshland said. "The path is not crystal clear, but our motives are. So, we move forward, committed to ensuring the type of organization each gymnast and the coaches, trainers and club owners who support them, deserves."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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