The president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, Steve Penny resigned Thursday as the organization deals with a sexual abuse scandal involving a former team doctor.
He has been the chief executive officer for the past 12 years but a group within the governing body recently called for his resignation in an effort to make progress in the fight against sexual abuse in the sport.
According to Nancy Armour and Rachel Axon of USA Today, Penny’s resignation came after the Indianapolis Star reported more than 360 cases of sexual abuse allegations by gymnasts against coaches over the past two decades.
Penny and USA Gymnastics released the following statement upon resigning, according to Armour and Axon: “It has been heartbreaking to learn of instances of abuse and it sickens me that young athletes would be exploited in such a manner. My decision to step aside as CEO is solely to support the best interests of USA Gymnastics at this time”
The case of former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar is the most highly-profile sexual abuse case that was arraigned on 22 sexual assault charges in February and now faces 25 in total involving girls who were 16 years of age or younger.
USA Gymnastics is facing at least four lawsuits in relation to Nassar with Penny being listed as a defendant in three of them.