Team USA has finally responded to the trial of former Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, which concluded Wednesday. The open letter from Team USA strives “to tell all of Nassar’s victims and survivors, directly, how incredibly sorry we are.” Nassar was sentenced Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison on seven charges of criminal sexual conduct.
The governing bodies for Team USA gymnastics have been under intense scrutiny, facing questions of how Nassar managed to get away with abusing more than 130 patients over three decades. “Nobody was protecting us from being taken advantage of,” said Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber during her victim impact statement at Nassar’s trial.
Team USA laid out four “next steps” for the organization, including offering athletes “strong resources in education and reporting, and [ensuring] the healing of the victims and survivors” as well as changing the structure of the national governing body. Deadspin points out that the U.S. Olympic Committee called for a complete turnover in the board of USA Gymnastics, saying all current members “must resign.” The USOC has additionally “decided to launch an investigation by an independent third party to examine how an abuse of this proportion could have gone undetected for so long,” the statement said.
In a separate open letter from the United States Olympians and Paralympians Association Executive Committee, officials vowed that “we shall continue to advocate for education and safe sport, to teach young boys and girls to recognize the signs of abuse and provide a safe place to speak without repercussion.” Read both letters here.