USA Gymnastics statement regarding House subcommittee hearing, “Examining the Olympic Community’s Ability to Protect Athletes from Sexual Abuse”
posted on 05/23/2018

Please attribute to Kerry Perry, president and CEO, USA Gymnastics

“On behalf of USA Gymnastics, I appreciated the opportunity to speak with the members of the House subcommittee about our organization’s commitment to creating a supportive and empowering culture that helps our athletes pursue their gymnastics dreams in a safe environment.

“First, I apologize to all who were harmed by the horrific acts of Larry Nassar. Your powerful voices will not be forgotten. I commit to you that I will keep your words and experiences at the core of every decision I make, every day, as the leader of this organization.

“Since December 2017, USA Gymnastics has embarked on a mission to implement a culture that puts athletes first. To that end, we are working hard to regain the trust and confidence of our athletes, their families, and all who are a part of the gymnastics community. In the past five months, we:
  • Closed the National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch.
  • Made personnel changes as part of a reorganization to ensure that USA Gymnastics has a fresh start.
  • Fully support both the U.S. Olympic Committee and Congressional investigations that we hope will shed light on how Nassar was able to commit these horrific crimes.
  • Fully support federal legislation — now a law — that will help safeguard amateur athletes.
  • Expanded our Safe Sport Department to include five new positions, four of which will live in the regions they cover throughout the United States to better support, train, educate and serve members.
  • Created an Athlete Task Force where our athletes will help shape our organization’s future in its strategic and operating decisions.
  • Continue to implement the Deborah Daniels recommendations stemming from an independent evaluation of USA Gymnastics’ policies.
  • Strongly enforce the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy that:
    • Requires mandatory reporting;
    • Defines six specific types of misconduct;
    • Sets standards to prohibit grooming behavior and inappropriate interaction; and
    • Establishes greater accountability.
  • Made reporting of abuse easier with a dedicated toll–free number (833-844-SAFE), email address (safesport@usagym.org) and online reporting.
  • Created an Athlete Assistance Fund, in cooperation with the National Gymnastics Foundation, to provide survivors of abuse with the needed financial resources for counseling and medical services.
  • Began educating and training our staff, Board and members on the new USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy. I am pleased to report that our staff and Board are 100 percent Safe Sport compliant. Beginning in 2018, all professional and club members must be Safe Sport certified as a condition of membership.
“These necessary changes are not just amendments to our policies; they are part of a cultural shift that reflects our commitment to prioritize the safety of our athletes and members. We will hold our organization to the highest standards of care in order to become a standard- bearer for change.”

Click here to read Kerry’s full written testimony.