INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Following the sentencing of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, and powerful statements from more than 150 survivors, fall out from his decades of abuse is starting to hit USA Gymnastics.
Wednesday, a judge sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison following seven days of victim impact statements in Lansing, Michigan. Many of those victims have called for accountability from Michigan State University, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics.
"We saw the worst sexual assault scandal in history unfold because a predator was left in power for decades despite warning signs, despite red flags, despite direct reports of assault," Rachael Denhollander, the survivor who first made Nassar's abuse public, said at the hearing Wednesday.
Hours before that, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun issued a public letter to athletes. In it, he called for changes at USAG.
"The purpose of this message is to tell all of Nassar's victims and survivors, directly, how incredibly sorry we are. We have said it in other contexts but we have not been direct enough with you. We are sorry for the pain caused by this terrible man, and sorry that you weren't afforded a safe opportunity to pursue your sports dreams. The Olympic family is among those that have failed you," Blackmun wrote.
Blackmun said the USOC is launching a third party investigation into "how an abuse of this proportion could have gone undetected for so long." The investigation will include both the USCO and USAG. He also called on all current USAG directors to resign and threatened to pursue decertifying USAG if it didn't fully embrace changes.
"We have strongly considered decertifying USAG as a National Governing Body. But USA Gymnastics includes clubs and athletes who had no hand in this and who need to be supported. We believe it would hurt more than help the athletes and their sport. But we will pursue decertification if USA Gymnastics does not fully embrace the necessary changes in their governance structure along with other mandated changes under review right now," he wrote.
Blackmun also said the USOC will devote funds to help provide testing, treatment and counseling to survivors.
Following the letter, USAG released its own statement:
"USA Gymnastics supports the United States Olympic Committee’s letter and accepts the absolute need of the Olympic family to promote a safe environment for all of our athletes. We agree with the USOC’s statement that the interests of our athletes and clubs, and their sport, may be better served by moving forward with meaningful change within our organization, rather than decertification. USA Gymnastics supports an independent investigation that may shine light on how abuse of the proportion described so courageously by the survivors of Larry Nassar could have gone undetected for so long and embraces any necessary and appropriate changes. USA Gymnastics and the USOC have the same goal – making the sport of gymnastics, and others, as safe as possible for athletes to follow their dreams in a safe, positive and empowered environment."
The new president and CEO of the Indianapolis based organization, Kerry Perry, released a statement following Nassar's sentencing, but the organization has not responded to our requests for an interview with Perry. CBS4 News has learned Perry has reached out to legislative leaders on Capitol Hill to be a part of reform moving forward.