Longtime USA Gymnastics chief operating officer Ron Galimore resigned Friday, the hottest high-profile death for its embattled company in the aftermath of this Larry Nassar scandal.
The move came as USA Gymnastics is confronting decertification of its standing as the national governing body for the game amid worries about its direction and how it handled complaints against Nassar. The former team physician is presently serving years in jail for sexual assault and possession of child porn.
Nassar is accused of sexually abusing countless female athletes under the guise of therapy in USA Gymnastics and Michigan State.
USA Gymnastics didn’t remark on the movement Friday beyond stating in a statement that its board accepted the resignation and wanted Galimore”well in his future endeavors.”
Galimore published a statement Friday night, stating:
“I’m proud to have functioned USA Gymnastics and its associates for at least 24 decades. I realize that modifications are necessary since the gymnastics community goes ahead in the aftermath of Larry Nassar’s dreadful actions, which influenced many in our game.
“I need to be clear that my resignation wasn’t associated in any way with the internet discourse and press reports which have attempted to connect me to an attempt to protect Nassar from examination. I’ve spoken with researchers and been deposed about those things, and am convinced I have always acted sensibly and with the best interests of athletes in your mind.
“Gymnastics has become the middle of my life because I was a child. I stepped out of my position using a level of despair but also the expectation that my passing may assist USA Gymnastics in pursuing its vision for a new start as it undergoes restructuring having a renewed sense of focus on developing a secure place for kids to learn hands.”
The Indianapolis Star reported in May an attorney hired by USA Gymnastics led Galimore to think of a false explanation to describe Nassar’s lack at important gymnastic events in the summer of 2015. The company was looking to complaints from Nassar in that moment.
“We will let Ron know to inform people who you were not feeling well and decided to stay home,” Scott Himsel, a lawyer hired by USA Gymnastics, wrote in an email obtained by the paper.
USA Gymnastics is accused of covering assault allegations. The team did not inform Michigan State or elite hands clubs around complaints against him in 2015. The company said it didn’t disclose the complaints from advice from the FBI.
Nassar publicly said in September 2015 he was retiring in the Indianapolis-based group, however he continued to watch young girls and women for several months in his own Michigan State office along with a fitness center close to Lansing, Michigan.
While there was considerable turnover beneath the business in the previous two decades — USA Gymnastics is now looking for the fourth president and chief executive officer since March, 2017 — Galimore stayed on because its second-highest officer. Though he maintained a lower profile in recent weeks, he did hand out awards in an awards ceremony in the recently finished 2018 world gymnastics championships.
Galimore’s continued existence was a point of controversy with Nassar survivors and outspoken critics who wondered committed USA Gymnastics would be to altering its civilization if it enabled Galimore to stay on board.
New USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland advised that the gymnastics community”you deserve,” in an open letter published earlier this season. Hirshland explained the struggles facing USA Gymnastics are somewhat more than it’s capable of beating as presently assembled.
The organization is currently weighing whether to give up its standing as a national governing body by itself or whether it is going to attempt to convince the USOC it could fix its problems and produce an environment that places an emphasis on health care security, health and general transparency.
Galimore, a standout gymnast who had been on the 1980 U.S. Summer Olympic team that boycotted the Moscow Games, combined USA Gymnastics in 1994, originally working with the men’s schedule before moving to different areas inside the organization.