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USA Gymnastics Issues Apology to Sexual Assault Survivors

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More than 80 women have come forward with similar claims against former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, who allegedly molested young patients since 2007.

On Tuesday, USA Gymnastics released an apology in an open letter that was shared on their website.

“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,” read the statement, which was signed by 21 members of its board of directors. “By working together, we can move the sport forward to better prevent the opportunity for abuse to occur.”

Erick W. Rasco /Sports Illustrated/Getty

To better protect its athletes, the organization announced the new sexual misconduct policies it plans to implement.

“Adult members are prohibited from being alone with minor gymnasts at all times,” one of the policies stated, while another read: “Unrelated adults are prohibited from sharing or being alone in a sleeping room with gymnasts.”

The announcement of the new policies comes after a comprehensive review of the organization was conducted by former federal prosecutor Deborah Daniels, according to TIME.

Daniels suggested that USA Gymnastics bar unrelated adults from sharing or being alone in a sleeping room with gymnasts. She also recommended preventing adult members from having “out of program” contact with gymnasts through email, text or social media.

RELATED VIDEO: Former U.S. Gymnasts Say They Were Sexually Abused by Team Doctor

 

Both of Daniels’ recommendations were put in place. In fact, the USA Gymnastics board of directors unanimously voted to develop a plan to implement many of Daniels’ 70 suggestions.

USA Gymnastics ordered the review last fall following a series of civil lawsuits filed against the organization and Nassar by a pair of gymnasts who claimed the physician sexually abused them during their time on the U.S. national team.

Nassar, who was charged with possession of child pornography and molesting a family friend, pleaded not guilty to all charges.