INDIANAPOLIS, March 10, 2021 – USA Gymnastics announced today the publication of a comprehensive audit of the organization’s progress toward implementing the recommendations set forth in the 2017 Deborah Daniels Report. The audit findings were recently issued by the report’s author as a follow up to her 2017 review.
In 2016, USA Gymnastics engaged Deborah J. Daniels, a former federal prosecutor and attorney with the law firm of Krieg DeVault LLP, to conduct an independent review of USA Gymnastics’ culture, bylaws, policies, and procedures related to safety and member misconduct, in order to provide specific recommendations for change. Together with Praesidium, an organization focused on the prevention of child abuse, Ms. Daniels issued a report – formally titled the “Report to USA Gymnastics on Proposed Policy and Procedural Changes for the Protection of Young Athletes” – which included approximately seventy recommendations for USA Gymnastics.
Since publication of the report in June 2017, USA Gymnastics has implemented changes across the organization, including hiring new leadership, codifying and strengthening safety policies, and launching broad educational efforts for the community, while also working to implement the specific recommendations included in the report.
Late last year, as part of its commitment to accountability and continuous progress, the organization again engaged Ms. Daniels to conduct an external audit of USA Gymnastics’ implementation of the recommendations to date.
In the audit findings, Ms. Daniels concludes that “Overall, it appears that USA Gymnastics, particularly in the time period since the current CEO was installed in the Spring of 2019, has made significant forward progress toward not only improving its written policies but also improving its performance in terms of athlete abuse reporting and response to reports of abuse; training of various constituencies to enhance their understanding of what constitutes abuse and what action is expected if misconduct is detected; outreach to, protection and support of athletes; and communication from the top down of a culture that values and protects its athletes first and foremost.”
“While we are proud of the progress this report highlights, we also know that there is still more work to be done,” said Li Li Leung, president and chief executive officer. “We are committed to continuing to make progress on the recommendations that have not yet been fully implemented, and to prioritizing all initiatives related to athlete safety, health and well-being.”
The full audit report, titled the Findings of Compliance Audit, can be found here.