Following sex crimes, US Olympic Committee moves to revoke USA Gymnastics' status

Posted at 7:26 PM, Nov 05, 2018

The US Olympic Committee wants to revoke USA Gymnastics' status as the sport's governing body as the organization struggles to recover from the sex abuse scandal involving Larry Nassar.

USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland has offered USA Gymnastics the option of surrendering its status voluntarily.

In an open letter Monday to the United States gymnastics community, Hirshland wrote, "We believe the challenges facing the organization are simply more than it is capable of overcoming in its current form."

She told the athletes they "deserve better."

CNN has reached out to USA Gymnastics for reaction.

The announcement comes amid turmoil for the current governing body. Nassar is the former team doctor for USA Gymnastics.

Last month, USA Gymnastics lost its second president in two months when former US Rep. Mary Bono stepped down as interim president.

Bono had taken over just a month after embattled president and CEO Kerry Perry quit. Perry, who held the job for nine months, was criticized for what many people characterized as inadequate action during the Nassar abuse fallout.

Bono came under fire in her first few days. In one instance, a September tweet surfaced of Bono defacing a Nike logo after Nike featured former NFL quarterback and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick in its advertising campaign. (Nike is a major sponsor of Olympic champion Simone Biles, a megastar for USA Gymnastics.)

Biles was critical of Bono. She tweeted: "don't worry, it's not like we needed a smarter usa gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything," Biles tweeted. Others also criticized Bono's tweet as being tone-deaf, saying the suppression of athletes' voices allowed Nassar's abuse to continue.

Days after Bono's resignation, former USA Gymnastics head Steve Penny was arrested in connection with accusations he removed documents linked to the Nassar sexual abuse case from the Karolyi Ranch gymnastics training facility in Texas, authorities said. A judge set Penny's bail at $25,000.

Nassar was already serving 40 to 175 years in Michigan for sexually abusing women and girls under the guise of performing medical treatment when he was indicted in June on charges linked to allegations at the Karolyi Ranch.

He faces six counts of sexual assault of a child. Meanwhile, former USA Gymnastics trainer Deborah Van Horn is facing one count of sexual assault of a child in Texas, prosecutors said.