United States Olympic Committee officials announced on Wednesday that its CEO was expected to resign amid the fallout of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal “due to ongoing health issues.”
Committee officials revealed that Scott Blackmun would leave his position as he seeks treatment for health issues resulting from prostate cancer. The news comes as the organization, and USA Gymnastics, work to deal with backlash for how they handled the decades-long abuse scandal.
“Given Scott’s current health situation, we have mutually agreed it is in the best interest of both Scott and the USOC that we identify new leadership so that we can immediately address the urgent initiatives ahead of us,” said USOC Chairman Larry Probst said in a statement. “The USOC is at a critical point in its history. The important work that Scott started needs to continue and will require especially vigorous attention in light of Larry Nassar’s decades-long abuse of athletes affiliated with USA Gymnastics.”
They announced that board member Susanne Lyons would take his place until a permanent CEO is found. “I am confident that Susanne is the right person to help us navigate this critical transition period,” Probst said in the statement.
The same day news of the resignation broke, it was revealed that three former elite American gymnasts, who accused Nassar of abuse, met with legislators on Capitol Hill.
Jordyn Wieber, Jamie Dantzscher and Jeanette Antolin detailed the abuse they suffered to Kansas senator Jerry Moran and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, according to USA Today Sports.
“The young women’s stories we heard today reinforced our determination to root out abuse in youth sport governing bodies,” Moran and Blumenthal said in a joint statement to the publication. “We are hopeful for renewed commitment from all Olympic organizations to eradicate all sexual abuse and other misconduct, and to raise a generation of athletes who feel safe competing in the sports they love.”
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Earlier this year, the disgraced former gymnastics doctor received lengthy sentences in Michigan’s Eaton and Ingham counties for sexually abusing girls and women for several years. In both hearings, several victims read emotional impact statements to the court.
Nassar has been called “the most prolific child molester in history.”