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USA Gymnastics Announces Departure of Senior VP as Nassar Fallout Continues

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Rhonda Faehn (left) while coaching women's gymnastics at the University of Florida. Photo: Associated Press

By Michael Pavitt |

USA Gymnastics senior vice-president for the women’s program, Rhonda Faehn, has left the organization.

Faehn’s departure was confirmed by USA Gymnastics President and chief executive Kerry Perry in a statement.

The official has been claimed to have been the first to have been told about allegations against former team doctor Larry Nassar.

Nassar, who also worked for USA Gymnastics, is currently serving a jail term of up to 175 years on multiple accounts of sexual abuse.

Those who have accused him include Olympic athletes on the American team, with dozens publicly testifying against Nassar at his court hearings.

There have also been questions about who knew what, and when.

USA Gymnastics have now confirmed Faehn, a former U.S. national team member in the 1980s, had left the organisation  but did not provide a specific reason for her exit.

“Rhonda Faehn is no longer with USA Gymnastics,” Perry wrote in a statement.

“This is a personnel matter that we will not discuss in detail.

“We recognize that change can be difficult, but we will not be deterred from making necessary and bold decisions to transform our organization.

“At USA Gymnastics, we are focused every day on creating a highly empowered culture that puts our athletes first.

“Over the next few weeks, we will be communicating some positive changes that reinforce our desire to have our athletes train and compete at the highest level in an empowering and safe environment.

“USA Gymnastics is moving forward and positioning for the future with the commitment to our athletes’ safety and well-being at the heart of everything we do.

“We encourage member clubs, coaches, administrators and the gymnastics entire community to align their efforts to this important task.

“Together, we will create a culture of empowerment for the young men and women who are pursuing their gymnastics dreams today while honoring those who have gone before them.”

A further statement was then released detailing changes being made to the organization since Perry joined in December 2017.

Perry stated she had examined every aspect of the organization’s structure, policies, procedures and personnel.

It is claimed changes are being made to the structure to empower athletes, along with “expanding and decentralizing” their Safe Sport Department.

“It will include five new positions, four of which will be assigned to and live in the regions they will cover throughout the United States,” Perry wrote.

“We believe this provides a much-improved structure to better support, train, educate and serve members, including our athletes and parents, club owners and professionals located in various regions throughout the country.

“USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Department will include a regional director responsible for the overall efforts of safe sport regional managers and four regional managers dedicated to help educate, train, support and ensure all safe sport guidelines, policies and procedures are in place throughout the communities we serve.”

The individuals will join the positions of USA Gymnastics’ chief legal officer, Safe Sport director of education and Safe Sport Counsel.

Earlier this week, Michigan State University (MSU) agreed to pay $500 million to victims of their former doctor Larry Nassar.

Attorneys representing 332 people reached the settlement following lawsuits against the University.

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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