Beleaguered USA Gymnastics names NBA’s Li Li Leung new president and CEO
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – USA Gymnastics has named a new president and CEO.
Li Li Leung most recently served as a vice president for the NBA. She’s also been involved with USA Basketball, the sport’s U.S. national governing body.
The Board of Directors appointed Leung following an extensive search, the group said. She faces an immense challenge; USA Gymnastics is fighting for its life in the fallout of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal.
More than 250 female gymnasts accused Nassar of sexual misconduct. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison in a federal child pornography case after pleading guilty. He also pleaded guilty in other cases and faces up to 175 years. The scandal brought USA Gymnastics to the brink and embroiled coaches and other officials.
After the scandal came to light, the fallout was immense. USA Gymnastics faces the threat of decertification and possible bankruptcy from millions of dollars in liability from the Nassar case.
Leung, who will assume her role as CEO on March 8, is USA Gymnastics’ fourth leader in two years. She’s a former gymnast who competed in the Big Ten at the University of Michigan.
She released a statement about her hiring:
“I am honored to be the next CEO of USA Gymnastics and to lead an organization that plays an important role in a sport that I care deeply about and had so much positive influence on my life. Like everyone, I was upset and angry to learn about the abuse and the institutions that let the athletes down.
I admire the courage and strength of the survivors, and I will make it a priority to see that their claims are resolved. I look forward to collaborating with the entire gymnastics community to create further change going forward, which requires that we implement important initiatives to strengthen athlete health and safety and build a clear and inclusive plan for the future. For me, this is much more than a job: it is a personal calling, for which I stand ready to answer.”