Sending Office: Honorable Jackie Speier
Join Bipartisan Letter to USA Gymnastics (USAG) and the U.S. Olympic Committee on the Selection of the Next USAG CEO
DEADLINE: 12:00 pm, Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Please join us in sending a letter to the USA Gymnastics (USAG) Board of Directors and the U.S. Olympic Committee expressing concerns regarding recent failures of leadership within USAG and urging them to select a new CEO that can credibly address issues
of misconduct and abuse.
The country watched in horror as brave women spoke out detailing years of abuse suffered at the hands of disgraced former USAG National Team Doctor Larry Nassar. Their testimonies indicated that culpability for these crimes extended beyond Nassar to former
leadership at USAG, who protected him and failed in their duty to safeguard young athletes. While the organization has paid much lip service to reforming the culture of impunity that enabled Nassar’s abuse, questionable leadership appointments shed doubt on
its ability to select a CEO that is equipped to tackle these challenges.
That is why we are sending a letter urging USAG to consider candidates without any ties to Nassar, or to the cover-up of his abuses, and who have proven records of fostering transparency and accountability. The letter also urges USAG to consult survivors
during the consideration process and requests information on the method by which USAG selects a CEO, including the criteria used to evaluate candidates.
It is imperative that the new CEO of USAG make meaningful progress toward changing the flawed power structure that enabled one of the most abhorrent sexual abuse scandals in elite athletics history. For additional information or to sign this letter, please
contact Alexandria Musser with Rep. Speier at
Alexandria.Musser@mail.house.gov. The deadline to sign on is noon, Tuesday, October 23nd.
Thank you for your consideration.
Member of Congress
Dear Ms. Golz and Ms. Hirshland:
We write to express our concern regarding the continued failures of leadership within USA Gymnastics (USAG). The resignation of interim-CEO Mary Bono, the latest example of this troubling pattern, leads us to question USAG’s strategy to end the epidemic
of abuse and exploitation rampant within the gymnastics community. Changing the culture of impunity that enabled Larry Nassar’s misconduct is one of the most critical challenges USAG must address. We strongly believe that USAG must appoint a CEO that can credibly
confront these important issues and identify and address allegations of misconduct.
Following the resignation of former USAG CEO Steve Penny, who was deeply implicated by credible reports that he ignored and concealed allegations against serial predator Larry Nassar, USAG appointed two individuals who lacked the qualifications and autonomy
to effectively lead USAG. Kerry Perry’s forced-resignation in September 2018 came after months of failing to reform USAG’s leadership and structure, a shameful appearance before Congress, and other questionable acts such as appointing an individual with a
history of defending Nassar to a prominent position within USAG. Even more concerning, USAG replaced Perry with interim-CEO Mary Bono, who had deep ties to the law firm that worked with USAG to misrepresent the nature and extent of Nassar’s abuses. These missteps
convey an alarming lack of judgement and disregard for the safety of athletes.
It is imperative that the new CEO inspire confidence in survivors, athletes, the public, and Congress. Plainly stated, USAG cannot be led by anyone with ties to Nassar or any entity that worked to conceal his abuse, nor can it move forward under an individual
who is unwilling or unable to reform a power structure that protects perpetrators instead of victims. In order for USAG to meet its congressionally-mandated responsibilities as established in the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act (36 U.S.C. Sec. 220501),
and ensure compliance with requirements set by the U.S. Center for Safe Sport under the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act (P.L. 115-126), we urge you to consider candidates who are free from any potential conflicts
of interest and who have demonstrable expertise in fostering accountability and transparency. We also encourage you to seek input from survivors during the deliberation process.
Additionally, we request that you share information about the method by which you select a new CEO. In a statement issued on October 16, 2018, you stated that you are currently seeking input from stakeholders. Please provide us with a list of stakeholders
with whom you are consulting in the search for a permanent CEO, along with the criteria you use to evaluate candidates.
After years of turning a blind eye to sexual misconduct and abuse, USAG must take seriously its duty to promote change from the top down. For the benefit of USAG, and the many young athletes in its care, you must select a CEO that can competently address
issues of misconduct and abuse. We would like to meet with you to discuss your efforts to appoint appropriate leadership, and we look forward to working with you to ensure that no athlete is forced to suffer abuse in silence because USAG’s leadership lacks
the ability or inclination to protect them.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. We look forward to your response.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0