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USA Gymnastics seats new Board in wake of sexual abuse scandal

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Larry Nassar by the Lansing State Journal

By Daniel Etchells

USA Gymnastics has elected a new Board of Directors in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal involving former national team doctor Larry Nassar.

The Board was seated at the conclusion of a recent USA Gymnastics Interim Board meeting.

Additionally, each of the five competitive disciplines has chosen its two representatives to serve on the newly-created “Programs Council.”

Athlete directors on the Board are Ivana Hong from women’s gymnastics and Steven Legendre from men’s gymnastics.

Hong’s term will run until 2020, while Legendre’s will end in 2019.

Dylan Maurer will serve from the combined disciplines of rhythmic/acrobatic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, with his term lasting until 2021.

National membership directors are Kittia Carpenter from women’s gymnastics, Justin Spring from men’s gymnastics and Stefanie Korepin from combined disciplines.

The Advisory Council director is Kevin White, while independent directors are Lois Bingham, Kathryn Carson, Karen Golz, Brent Lang, David Rudd, Staci Slaughter, Julie Springwater and Kimberly Till.

Golz will also be the chair of the USA Gymnastics officers, with Rudd as vice-chair/secretary and Korepin as treasurer.

Paul Parilla, Jay Binder and Bitsy Kelley resigned from those respective positions in January.

“We want to thank the Interim Board for their commitment to completing the necessary tasks of streamlining and reconstituting our Board of Directors in a short window of time,” Kerry Perry, president and chief executive of USA Gymnastics, said.

“We look forward to working with the new Board to transform our organization to keep athlete safety and well-being as our priority and to promote a positive and empowered environment for our athletes and members to thrive and follow their dreams.”

The election of the new Board of Directors comes in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal involving former national team doctor Larry Nassar.

Joining the newly-created Programs Council are Elena Arakelyan and Bob Meier from acrobatic gymnastics; Spring and Gene Watson from men’s gymnastics; Korepin and Anna Loescher from rhythmic gymnastics; Scott Lineberry and Erin Powell from trampoline and tumbling; and Carpenter and Claudia Kretschmer from women’s gymnastics.

Bingham is the independent director.

Similar to the Athletes’ Council, the Programs Council provides a forum for all five of the competitive disciplines to discuss and provide input on issues of importance to the programs and for the organization’s culture and future.

Earlier this month, former USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny refused to answer questions about the sport’s abuse scandal by pleading the Fifth Amendment at a Senate hearing.

Penny resigned from his position in March of last year amid claims the organization was slow to react to sex abuse allegations regarding Nassar.

He has been accused of “covering up” the claims against Nassar and of waiting nearly a month to inform authorities after he learnt about the accusations.

An e-mail revealed by the Senate subcommittee investigating the scandal allegedly shows that Penny asked six USA Gymnastics Board members not to discuss the allegations against Nassar.

USA Gymnastics had claimed that it had been asked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) not to discuss the case to avoid jeopardizing their investigation.

But the e-mail was reportedly sent before the FBI became involved.

Penny is also accused of not informing Michigan State University where Nassar also worked and preyed on victims.

But he provided no insight in Washington D.C. on June 5 by using the Fifth Amendment law which allows witnesses to decline to answer questions to protect against incriminating themselves.

Nassar has now been jailed for up to 175 years with Penny replaced as president by Perry.

Daniel Etchells is a reporter with insidethegames.biz.  Used with permission.

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