USA Gymnastics Addresses its Future

(ATR) USA Gymnastics gives an update on CEO search, while affirming it's still in charge of the sport in the U.S.

(ATR) The board of directors for USA Gymnastics discusses "questions for the USOC" while meeting to chart the direction the National Governing Body will take.

USA Gymnastics has been thrown in turmoil after the USOC said it started the process to revoke the body’s status as the NGB in charge of gymnastics in the United States.

In an open letter United States Olympic Committee chief executive Sarah Hirshland acknowledged that the decision leaves more questions than answers in the short term, but was best long term for the sport. Hirshland said that the challenges for USA Gymnastics were "simply more than it is capable of overcoming in its current form".

"We have read the feedback and we understand how difficult the situation and uncertainty are for everyone," Karen Golz, chair of the USA Gymnastics board wrote in a statement to its members. "We know you have questions and concerns about what this means for you, the athletes, your gym, your invitationals, your club members."

Last week USA Gymnastics accepted the resignation of chief operating officer Ron Gailmore, a high ranking official from before the Nassar scandal. He had been at USA Gymnastics since 2011.

Former USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny was arrested last month on felony charges stemming from covering up an investigation into abuse by Larry Nassar at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas. The USOC reportedly took action to revoke USA Gymnastics as the sport’s NGB after a USA Gymnastics staffer found documents which had belonged at the ranch.

"To be clear, USA Gymnastics still remains the recognized national governing body, including by the International Gymnastics Federation, and our commitment to the gymnastics community and this sport is unwavering." Golz said.

Golz outlined in the statement the qualities USA Gymnastics is looking for in its new chief executive. Two interim CEOs have resigned so far this year, both for failing to earn the trust of top gymnasts.

The statement said that the three priorities for the next CEO of the organization is commitment to athlete safety, build trust within the organization as part of a culture change, and ensure transparency. A survey was sent to 250 "athletes, coaches, gym owners and employees, about the priorities, experiences and characteristics" they want to see in the next CEO.

"Based on this feedback, Spencer Stuart is finalizing the job specification and the full search committee, both of which we plan to announce in the coming weeks," Golz added. "The firm is also sourcing candidates and has received interest from a large number of potential candidates. We greatly appreciate all of the valuable feedback and suggestions we have received during this process, and we are working hard to identify the best candidate for the future of the organization."

Written by Aaron Bauer

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