INDIANAPOLIS – The president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, Steve Penny, has resigned in the midst of a sexual assault scandal surrounding former USA Gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar.
Penny informed the board of directors of his decision to resign during a conference call that was originally scheduled to fill a board vacancy and to consider amendments to the bylaws pertaining to U.S. Center for SafeSport. The board accepted Penny's resignation.
The matter was brought up because of the recent attention on the organization’s challenges regarding sexual misconduct.
Board chair Paul Parilla will oversee the organization’s operations during a search for Penny's replacement.
"It will move forward the initiatives currently in progress to strengthen and refine its policies and procedures for handling sexual misconduct, including the ongoing, independent evaluation by Deborah Daniels that is expected to be completed this spring," the organization said in a news release.
Parilla released the following statement:
"We have accepted Steve’s resignation and want to thank him for his contributions and dedication to USA Gymnastics over the years.
"The board believes this change in leadership will help USA Gymnastics face its current challenges and implement solutions to move the organization forward in promoting a safe environment for its athletes at all levels.
"USA Gymnastics and the entire gymnastics community must work together to focus on keeping athletes safe. We believe Ms. Daniels’ recommendations will identify areas where we can strengthen and refine how we handle sexual misconduct as an organization, expand our efforts to educate the entire community, including parents and athletes, about what to watch for and what to do if they suspect abuse is happening. Everyone can be an active and vigilant participant for this to be effective, not only in gymnastics but also the Olympic movement as a whole."