“What documents? The ones @dantzscher said were taken from the Ranch? The ones Steve Penney had removed? The ones Perry told the US Senate under oath we didn’t have? The ones investigators have been looking for, for 2 years? THOSE ones? Yeah, we got those. Oops.” -Never say Rachael Denhollander doesn’t have a sense of humor
The USOC is done with USAG. The U.S. Olympic Committee announced on Monday that it’s sick of USA Gym’s shit and is moving to decertify the org. USAG released a statement saying the new board “has done everything it could to move this organization towards a better future.”
Here’s why. Turns out, it’s because USAG may have found the documents which former CEO and President Steve Penny is accused of ordering to be removed from the Karolyi Ranch. The Walker County, Texas District Attorney has issued a subpoena for the documents, and Denhollander is calling for a search warrant.
Meanwhile, USAG expects to pay up to $150 million to survivors, financial documents show. The filings also show that Penny was paid more than $400,000 in severance pay when he resigned in March 2017.
AOGC is closing. All Olympia Gymnastics Center—the gym where McKayla Maroney and Mattie Larson trained—is closing. AOGC head coaches Artur Akopyan and Galina Marinova have been named in several lawsuits relating to Nassar’s abuse, and Maroney spoke about unhealthy coaching practices during her interview with Gymcastic.
In a letter, Akopyan and Marinova said, “The rumors and accusations in the gymnastics arena create an environment that is unhealthy for our kids and staff, especially for us.”
Since the announcement, other gymnasts have come forward with stories about their time at AOGC. The gym also reached a $1 million settlement with Larson, whose suit claimed the coaches “fueled an abusive, harassing and degrading environment” that allowed Nassar to thrive.
Penny may have had inside help. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is investigating a detective—Bruce Smith, friend of Steve Penny and then-supervisor of the Child Abuse Unit—for trying to help USAG’s public image during 2016 and 2017.
- SafeSport has a $2.2 million grant from the U.S. gov, but it strangely can’t be used for investigations, causing a backlog.
- A new report shows that Canada lags behind on protecting athletes from abuse.
- The Cottbus WC lineup was released (snaps to Spencer).
- The gymnastics venue for Tokyo 2020 is about halfway done. ETA: Fall 2019.
Required reading (buckle up)
- Congress forced scrutiny of USA Gymnastics—the USOC should be next (Chicago Tribune)
- What should USA Gymnastics’ new governing body look like? Survivors, former athletes have ideas (Sports Illustrated)
- Plenty of highs, lows for Simone Biles after whirlwind year in gymnastics (Houston Chronicle)
- ‘Seriously, you chose her?’: U.S.A. Gymnastics’ trouble at the top (The New York Times)
- Gymnasts—and survivors—need more power over their own sport. It’s long overdue (The Boston Globe)
- The women who took down Larry Nassar on life after the ruling (Glamour)
- Judge who sentenced Larry Nassar says her rebuke of him helps his sexual abuse victims and many more (NBC News)
- Everyone believed Larry Nassar (The Cut)
- Believed, episode four: Gaslighting (Michigan Radio)
Hawaiian shirt alert. Great Britain’s Louis Smith announced his retirement on Thursday.
Well you’re no fun. The FIG apparently closed the curtain on chalkography and pre-floor choreo.
He had it coming. Apparently Sam Mikulak’s pup wasn’t a fan of the Doha mascot. Or maybe he was? Hard to tell.
Mirror mirror on the wall. Who has the longest legs of all? Liu Tingting puts the rest to shame.
Trouble sleeping? Endless transitions to soothe the busy brain. Low to high to low to high to…
Since you asked…
All your questions, answered. Except how to pronounce “Qatar” (QA-tar? Qa-TAR? Idk).
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