USA Gymnastics COO resigns

USA Gymnastics COO resigns
AP via CNN
USA Gymnastics' longtime Chief Operating Officer Ron Galimore has resigned, the organization said Friday.

USA Gymnastics’ longtime chief operating officer has resigned, the organization said Friday, becoming the latest in a string of top officials to leave the sport’s national governing body after a sex abuse scandal involving former team doctor Larry Nassar.

The board of directors accepted COO Ron Galimore’s resignation, the organization said in a statement, without elaborating.

“We wish him well in his future endeavors,” the statement reads.

USA Gymnastics didn’t respond to CNN’s questions about why Galimore resigned or who might replace him. Attempts to reach Galimore for comment weren’t immediately successful

Until his resignation, Galimore was the highest-ranking official still working for USA Gymnastics after widespread sexual abuse allegations against Nassar became public in 2016. He had been its COO since 2011.

Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics physician, was sentenced in January to 40 to 175 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual misconduct. Before the sentencing, more than 150 women and girls said in court that Nassar had sexually abused athletes under the guise of medical treatment.

After the Nassar allegations broke, numerous top USA Gymnastics officials stepped down or were forced out as the group faced criticism over how it handled the child abuse allegations and even how it responded after the scandal.

• In March 2017, CEO Steve Penny resigned. He was arrested last month on suspicion of removing documents related to the Nassar sexual abuse case from a gymnastics training facility in Texas.

• In January, the entire USA Gymnastics board resigned over the Nassar scandal. A new 15-member board took over in June.

• In May, Rhonda Faehn, the head of USA Gymnastics’ women’s program, departed. The organization didn’t say why.

• In August, elite development coordinator Mary Lee Tracy, only three days on the job, resigned after she “inappropriately contacted a (Nassar) survivor” who had criticized her, USA Gymnastics said.

• In September, Penny’s replacement as CEO, Kerry Perry, stepped down after nine months. Some had accused her of not taking adequate action during the fallout of the Nassar scandal.

• In October, former US Rep. Mary Bono resigned as interim president and CEO less than a week after accepting the position. She came under fire when a September tweet surfaced of her defacing a logo of Nike, which had recently featured former NFL player and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign.

Bono’s hiring also was criticized because she once worked for a law firm that reportedly helped USA Gymnastics craft cover stories about Nassar’s absence from events while he was under investigation.

Last week, the US Olympic Committee said it wants to revoke USA Gymnastics’ status as the sport’s national governing body. In an open letter, USOC chief Sarah Hirshland offered the organization the option of surrendering its status voluntarily.

Galimore was an accomplished gymnast before joining USA Gymnastics, competing for Louisiana State and Iowa State universities in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

He won NCAA championships in floor exercise and vault, and became the first African-American to be named to the US Olympic gymnastics team.

He joined USA Gymnastics as men’s program director in 1994.