USA Gymnastics chief executive Kerry Perry resigned late Monday, Sept. 4, under pressure for public relations missteps as the Olympic sports organization continues to struggle with fallout from the Larry Nassar sex abuse crisis. Perry is the second USA Gymnastics CEO to exit under heavy criticism for Nassar, the convicted serial pedophile and former longtime team physician for USA Gymnastics women.

USA Gymnastics announced the resignation early Tuesday, in a statement from Karen Golz, board chair.

"This process has been challenging, and painful, but is a necessary step in moving the community forward," said Golz in the statement, which thanked Perry for "her leadership under very difficult circumstances."

The resignation was first reported late Monday by the Orange County Register.

Perry's departure came just days after new U.S. Olympic Committee chief executive Sarah Hirshland - who replaced Scott Blackmun, who also resigned under criticism over his organization's response to complaints about Nassar - called for another leadership change at USA Gymnastics in a statement late Friday.

Hirshland's statement came in response to criticism from Nassar victims for Perry's recent decision to hire Mary Lee Tracy as its elite development coordinator. Tracy, an Ohio coach who has worked with dozens of national team members, publicly supported Nassar after his arrest on child pornography charges in the fall of 2016, after dozens of girls and women had come forward accusing him of sexual abuse under the guise of medical treatment.

Perry held the job for only nine months. The former sports marketing executive was hired in December 2017 to replace Steve Penny, whose resignation also came under duress for his handling of Nassar, in March 2017. A month after Perry was hired, the entire board of directors of USA Gymnastics resigned under pressure from former USOC CEO Blackmun, who then resigned a month later.

 

This article was written by Will Hobson, a reporter for The Washington Post.