The second-highest ranking official at USA Gymnastics, who helped provide a cover story for Larry Nassar, stepped down from his post on Friday.
Ron Galimore left his position as the chief operating officer, though it’s not clear as of Friday afternoon if he did so of his own accord or if he was asked to resign.
The U.S. Olympic Committee announced last week its intent to strip USA Gymnastics of its national governing body status as fallout from the Nassar scandal continues. Another survivor, Alyssa Baumann, came forward publicly late Thursday on her social media page.
Galimore helped cover up Nassar’s absence
Galimore was directly involved in explaining away Nassar’s absences from USA Gymnastics events in 2015 after he was dismissed by the federation while it quietly investigated, according to a report by the IndyStar.
Nassar, the team physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State, was convicted of federal child pornography and state sexual abuse charges. More than 350 female gymnasts have come forward over the alleging abuse and misconduct under the guise of “medical treatment.”
Nassar missed the 2015 U.S. Classic and national championships. Galimore and then-USA Gymnastics attorney Scott D. Himsel coordinated stories that he was absent for personal reasons, according to emails obtained by the IndyStar.
“We’ll let Ron know to advise people that you weren’t feeling well and decided to stay home,” Himsel told Nassar before the Classic, according to the IndyStar.
COO retains position for significant time period
Galimore maintained his position and seat on the International Gymnastics Federation executive committee in the years since the scandal dropped and in the months since Nassar was convicted.
He is the only American on the seven-person committee, according to USA Today, and as such awarded medals at the world championships earlier this month that Simone Biles dominated.
That he was still around and in such a high position of power did not sit well with the hundreds of Nassar’s survivors. From Nancy Armour at USA Today:
That Galimore remained with USA Gymnastics until now was a source of anger and frustration for the survivors of Nassar’s abuse, who said it showed the federation was not sincere about changing a culture that allowed a sexual predator to thrive.
World champion gymnast latest to come forward
Alyssa Baumann is the latest Nassar survivor to publicly come forward, doing so via social media and a public relations firm Thursday.
Baumann, 20, was a member of the U.S. gold medal team at the 2014 World Championships. She filed a lawsuit in August as a “Jane Doe,” according to NBC Sports, and is at least the fifth member of the ’14 team to come forward as a Nassar survivor. She joins Biles, Kyla Ross, Madison Kocian and Ashton Locklear.
Baumann wrote that she believes sharing her story will help her heal and she didn’t reveal herself before because she was “in denial and I was scared.” She said she hesitated to share her story with her family so as to not upset them.
My hope is that my story will encourage others to speak up about their own situation — so they too can begin to heal. May this also serve as reminder to those in authority to take the appropriate actions to completely change USAG’s culture and hold every Nassar enabler accountable so that future generations of gymnasts can feel safe and enjoy the sport again.”
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