BREAKING NEWS : FBI preparing for protests in Indianapolis Full Story

USA Gymnastics president resigns

Less than a week after taking over USA Gymnastics, former Rep. Mary Bono has resigned as interim president. Bono took the helm just a month after embattled president and CEO Kerry Perry quit.

Posted: Oct 18, 2018 10:04 AM
Updated: Oct 18, 2018 10:37 AM

The revolving door of USA Gymnastics' top leadership keeps spinning as the organization struggles to recover from the Larry Nassar scandal.

Less than a week after taking over USA Gymnastics, former US Rep. Mary Bono has resigned as interim president.

Bono took the helm just a month after embattled president and CEO Kerry Perry quit. Perry, who had only been on the job for nine months, was criticized for what many considered to be inadequate action and boilerplate soundbites after the Nassar sex abuse scandal.

On Tuesday, four days into her new job, Bono announced her resignation.

"It is with profound regret, coupled with a deep love for the sport of gymnastics and respect for those who aspire to be great gymnasts, that I today tendered my resignation as the interim CEO of USA Gymnastics," Bono said in a statement.

"My withdrawal comes in the wake of personal attacks that, left undefended, would have made my leading USAG a liability for the organization."

Bono came under fire twice during her first few days leading USAG.

First, a tweet surfaced of Bono from September defacing a Nike logo after Nike featured former NFL quarterback and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign. (Nike is a huge sponsor of Olympic champion Simone Biles, the biggest star of USA Gymnastics.)

Biles called Bono out on her tweet.

"don't worry, it's not like we needed a smarter usa gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything," Biles tweeted. Others said Bono's tweet was tone deaf, saying it was the suppression of athletes' voices that allowed Nassar's abuse to fester.

Bono deleted the tweet and said she regretted the post.

"I deeply regret posting the tweet because I respect everyone's views and their fundamental right to express them," Bono said in a statement Saturday. "This in no way reflects how I will approach my position at USA Gymnastics. I will do everything I can to help change the culture and to work with the entire community to build an open, safe and positive environment."

After that, Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman and others slammed USAG's decision to appoint Bono because she used to work for the law firm Faegre Baker Daniels. A former attorney for that firm helped USA Gymnastics craft false statements about Nassar, an investigation by The Indianapolis Star revealed.

Emails obtained by the Star show that attorney worked with Nassar on cover stories about why Nassar -- a former USA Gymnastics team doctor -- couldn't go to big events leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

They settled on excuses like Nassar was sick, or he was focusing on his private practice, the Star reported. But, in reality, Nassar was being investigated for child sex abuse.

Raisman lambasted the hiring of Bono in a series of tweets.

"My teammates & I reported Nassar's abuse to USAG in 2015. We now know USOC & lawyers at Faegre Baker Daniels (Mary Bono's firm) were also told then, yet Nassar continued to abuse children for 13 months!? Why hire someone associated with the firm that helped cover up our abuse?" Raisman posted.

Faegre Baker Daniels released a statement to the Star, saying the firm actually helped report Nassar to the FBI in 2015 -- "a fact that refutes any claim of a cover up." It declined to comment further, citing client confidentiality.

USA Gymnastics clarified that Bono was not involved in working with Nassar during her time at Faegre Baker Daniels.

"Mary Bono worked at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, the legislative strategies and policies branch in Washington, D.C.," USA Gymnastics said in a statement Monday.

"Faegre Baker Daniels is a large, global firm that has a number of divisions and areas, and Mary was not involved in FBD's work with USA Gymnastics as counsel of record."

Attorney John Manly, who represented Nassar survivors, in a statement Tuesday again brought up Bono's connection to Faegre Baker Daniels and said the firm "helped USAG and its disgraced former president Steve Penny keep Nassar's abuse secret in 2015."

"Selecting her as interim president was an insult to every survivor and shows a complete disregard for the safety of child athletes," Manly said.

"USA Gymnastics should be decertified immediately as the governing body for gymnastics in the US. It should be replaced by a body with credible/competent leadership that includes survivors. USAG is a disgrace to our current athletes, to the survivors and our nation."

The USA Gymnastics board of directors said Bono's resignation was "in the best interest of the organization."

"We remain steadfast in our efforts to fundamentally transform the organization at all levels to ensure athlete safety and well-being is at the heart of everything we do," the statement said.

"We are also committed to making sure that the focus remains on the athletes -- including this week as our men and women head to Doha to compete in the World Championships. While we have made progress, we have much more work to do. This board is determined to take the necessary steps to support a safe, inclusive and competitive environment where all our athletes and members can grow, have fun and achieve their goals."

The resignations of Bono and Perry are the latest in a series of high-profile departures from USA Gymnastics in recent months.

In August, after only three days on the job, elite development coordinator Mary Lee Tracy was asked to resign after she had "inappropriately contacted a [Nassar] survivor, who is also a represented plaintiff, in response to that survivor's public criticism of her," USAG said.

"We strongly believe in a culture that encourages our athletes and survivors to speak up and make their voices heard," USAG tweeted.

And in May, USAG said the head of its women's program, Rhonda Faehn, was no longer with the organization. Then-CEO Perry would not say whether Faehn was fired or resigned, calling Faehn's departure a "personnel matter that we will not discuss in detail."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 578494

Reported Deaths: 9202
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion798821282
Lake43601664
Allen31380537
Hamilton27675303
St. Joseph26409369
Elkhart23873336
Vanderburgh18192211
Tippecanoe16999116
Porter14183158
Johnson14120277
Hendricks13560236
Madison10312209
Vigo10297171
Clark9952128
Monroe8933105
Delaware8638129
LaPorte8589153
Kosciusko777375
Howard7712136
Warrick624990
Hancock621995
Bartholomew616094
Floyd5971105
Wayne5811155
Grant5716108
Dubois533570
Boone523167
Morgan501485
Marshall487084
Henry483262
Cass464959
Noble453956
Dearborn443343
Jackson410145
Shelby394376
Lawrence374172
Clinton359838
Gibson348556
DeKalb333063
Montgomery329150
Knox323339
Harrison317242
Miami305043
Steuben300740
Adams291635
Ripley287145
Wabash286345
Whitley286324
Huntington278757
Putnam278046
Jasper274933
White262038
Daviess255671
Jefferson242738
Fayette239248
Decatur237382
Greene229259
Posey225626
Wells225146
LaGrange222061
Scott212837
Clay212432
Randolph204940
Jennings188635
Sullivan185831
Spencer176917
Fountain175125
Washington170216
Starke169241
Jay160521
Fulton156829
Owen155536
Carroll150115
Orange146333
Rush145618
Vermillion141633
Perry141327
Franklin139333
Parke12718
Tipton126232
Pike111325
Blackford105122
Pulaski93636
Newton87820
Brown84428
Benton83010
Crawford7229
Martin68013
Warren6427
Switzerland6035
Union6033
Ohio4547
Unassigned0372

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 807293

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin95508704
Cuyahoga80262964
Hamilton59783436
Montgomery40858396
Summit32488697
Lucas29495575
Butler29100225
Stark24048388
Warren18471135
Lorain17563207
Mahoning16430334
Lake14941134
Clermont14703103
Delaware1349574
Licking12353132
Trumbull12096297
Fairfield1184280
Greene11338132
Medina10815164
Clark10334261
Wood9742153
Allen9355126
Miami867373
Portage8628104
Richland8604111
Marion7231112
Tuscarawas6987172
Columbiana6922124
Pickaway689050
Wayne6599162
Muskingum648939
Erie5729117
Hancock529088
Ross518287
Scioto508753
Geauga469955
Darke450589
Ashtabula431467
Union422327
Mercer419485
Lawrence417051
Sandusky413262
Auglaize407059
Shelby404621
Seneca404354
Huron399738
Jefferson391565
Belmont378140
Putnam359370
Washington357039
Athens35469
Madison331128
Knox329022
Ashland322538
Fulton319043
Defiance311476
Crawford306769
Preble306434
Brown289617
Logan284828
Ottawa275534
Clinton272741
Williams265757
Highland255618
Jackson250743
Guernsey234625
Champaign233727
Fayette218929
Morrow21754
Holmes215562
Perry215317
Henry206147
Hardin200932
Coshocton194517
Van Wert193744
Wyandot186948
Gallia186226
Adams160815
Pike160116
Hocking157423
Carroll143216
Paulding137521
Noble116138
Meigs99021
Monroe93827
Harrison8428
Morgan75826
Vinton64013
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 31°
Angola
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 30°
Huntington
Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 32°
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 31°
Lima
Partly Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 30°
Light Snow Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events