Speed Reads

Hammer Time

The U.S. Olympic Committee gives the board of USA Gymnastics 6 days to step down, or else

On Thursday, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) set out six demands USA Gymnastics must meet to retain its status as the sport's American government body, the first step being the resignation of the remaining USA Gymnastics board members by Jan. 31 and the seating of an interim board by the end of February. USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun explained in a letter that the "shocking and tragic" testimony of gymnasts at the sentencing hearing of disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar "served to drive home the impact on individual victims in a way we will never forget," and the implementation of recommended changes "must start with an entirely new board."

Blackmun said USA Gymnastics will also have to cooperate with an independent investigation into whether anyone there knew and failed to report Nassar's sexual abuses. "We do not base these requirements on any knowledge that any individual USAG staff or board members had a role in fostering or obscuring Nassar's actions," he added. "Our position comes from a clear sense that USAG culture needs fundamental rebuilding."

USA Gymnastics appeared to accept the demands, saying in a statement that it "completely embraces the requirements" Blackmun laid out and "appreciates the opportunity to work with the USOC to accomplish change for the betterment of our organization, our athletes, and our clubs." On Wednesday, Nassar was sentenced to life in prison on seven charges of criminal sexual misconduct; more than 130 of his patients have accused him of sexual abuse stretching back three decades.