USA Gymnastics Issues Policy Changes To Protect Athletes In Response To Sexual Misconduct Scandal Surrounding Former Team Doctor

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USA Gymnastics is sticking with new policies to keep athletes safe.

The organization is taking action in response to the sexual misconduct scandal surrounding former team doctor Larry Nassar, who has been accused of molesting young patients since 2007.

Over 80 women who have come forward with claims against Nasser, who was charged with possessing child pornography last December.

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This charge came on the heels of an explosive report citing 358 cases of children alleging sexual misconduct against gymnastic coaches, doctors, and gym staffers across the country.

And this week, USA Gymnastics has vowed to make operations safer for all athletes in an open letter shared on their website.

The statement, which was signed by 21 members of its board of directors, apologizes to any gymnast who suffered “abuse or mistreatment.” It read:

“Even one instance of child abuse is one too many. USA Gymnastics is very sorry that anyone has been harmed during his or her gymnastics career, and we offer our deepest regrets to any athlete who suffered abuse or mistreatment while participating in the sport. By working together, we can move the sport forward to better prevent the opportunity for abuse to occur.”

The organization announced new sexual misconduct policies it plans to implement to better protect the athletes going forward. The policies state:

“Adult members are prohibited from being alone with minor gymnasts at all times├óΓé¼┬ª Unrelated adults are prohibited from sharing or being alone in a sleeping room with gymnasts.”

USA Gymnastics explained on Twitter that the plan was drawn up after the board “unanimously accepted” the recommendations of former federal prosecutor Deborah Daniels, who conducted a review of the organization following the sex scandal:

Daniels advised that USA Gymnastics prohibit unrelated adults from sharing or being alone in a sleeping room with gymnasts, and recommended barring adult staff from having “out of program” contact with athletes via email, text, or social media.

We’re glad the organization is owning up and taking big steps to protect its athletes.

[Image via Playgroundmag.]

Jun 28, 2017 11:42am PDT

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