Steve Penny, the president of U.S.A. Gymnastics, the sport’s national governing body, resigned on Thursday amid a sexual-assault scandal that is mind-blowing in its depth.
“My decision to step aside as C.E.O. is solely to support the best interests of U.S.A. Gymnastics at this time,” he said in a statement.
An investigation by the Indianapolis Star this summer found that U.S.A. Gymnastics routinely dismissed warnings and complaints of sexual abuse against many of its of coaches. At least 368 gymnasts have alleged sexual abuse over the past 20 years. Several dozen gymnasts have alleged that Larry Nassar, the national gymnastics team doctor from 1996 to 2015, sexually abused them, including at Karolyi Ranch in Texas, the official training center of the women’s national team.
Nassar, who was fired by U.S.A. Gymnastics in 2015 and faces a wide range of state child sexual abuse charges and federal child pornography charges, is currently in prison. Many of the charges stem from his 20 years as a team doctor at Michigan State.
Penny and U.S.A. Gymnastics have been accused of, among other things, negligence, they have been named as defendants in several civil lawsuits.