Mary Bono abruptly resigns as head of troubled USA Gymnastics
Former U.S. Rep. Mary Bono abruptly resigned from USA Gymnastics on Tuesday, less than a week after being named interim president and chief executive of the embattled organization.
Bono had come under immediate fire from two-time Olympian Aly Raisman and others concerned that she had worked for a law firm that reportedly helped the organization, gymnastics’ national governing body, in a cover-up of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.
USA Gymnastics denied that allegation.
Further criticism came from another Olympian, Simone Biles, who pointed to a social media post in which Bono took a picture of herself blacking out the Nike logo on her golf shoes in response to quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s advertisement for the shoe company.
“Don’t worry, it’s not like we needed a smarter usa gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything,” Biles tweeted.
Bono announced her resignation in a statement, which was confirmed by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
USA Gymnastics’ troubles date to 2015, when allegations about Nassar began to emerge.
Hundreds of young athletes have since come forward with accusations that the disgraced sports doctor — who worked in various capacities for USA Gymnastics, Michigan State and the U.S. Olympic team — molested them under the guise of providing medical treatment.
The 55-year-old is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty to charges of sexual assault and possession of child pornography in Michigan.
The scandal has prompted a wave of lawsuits, with Michigan State announcing it will set aside $500 million to settle current and future claims. USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee still face litigation.
In the meantime, USA Gymnastics vowed to overhaul its leadership. The entire board of directors resigned last January and Kerry Perry was hired as president, though she resigned under pressure just nine months later.
Bono, who spent 15 years as a U.S. representative from Southern California and had trained as a gymnast in her youth, was supposed to head the organization until it could find a permanent leader.
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