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USA Gymnastics entire board to resign over Larry Nassar scandal

by Julia Jester and Tracy Connor /  / Updated 
Image: Scott Blackmun
Scott Blackmun poses for his photo at the United States Olympic Training Center where he was named CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee on Jan. 6, 2010, in Colorado Springs, Colo.Ed Andrieski / AP file

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After an ultimatum by the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics said Friday it will comply with a demand for its entire board of directors to resign within a week over handling of the Larry Nassar sex-abuse scandal.

The three top members of the board resigned earlier in the week, months after President Steve Penny stepped aside under pressure. But that didn't quell criticism, and the Olympic Committee called for bigger changes.

In a statement late Thursday, the committee outlined six conditions that USA Gymnastics must meet or be decertified as the national governing board for the sport.

"While the USOC encourages USAG to think and act broadly on reforming its culture, we also believe that reform must start with an entirely new board," CEO Scott Blackmun wrote.

Initially, USA Gymnastics released a statement that did not specify whether the board would resign.

"USA Gymnastics completely embraces the requirements outlined in the (letter)," the organization said. "Our commitment is uncompromising, and we hope everything we do makes this very clear."

Related: 8 times ex-gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar could have been stopped

On Friday, the organization clarified with a new statement: "USA Gymnastics will comply with the USOC requirements."

Additional Olympic Committee demands include requiring all staff and board members to complete SafeSport training offered by the U.S. Center for Safe Sport within three months and comprehensive ethics training within six months.

Related: MSU President Lou Anna Simon resigns over Nassar scandal

"Our position comes from a clear sense that USAG culture needs fundamental rebuilding," the Olympic Committee's letter reads. "Every athlete connected in any way with USAG must feel safe, supported, and encouraged to speak freely about threats to their safety."

The USOC's action came a day after the sentencing of Nassar, a former U.S. national team doctor who was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing seven minors, six of them former patients.

During days of emotional impact statements from more than 150 people, accusers criticized both USAG and the USOC for failing to protect athletes from Nassar's abuse.

In an exclusive interview with NBC's TODAY, two-time Olympian Aly Raisman criticized both organizations for allowing Nassar to practice without a medical license in Texas, the site of the U.S. national team camp and Olympic training center where many gymnasts were allegedly abused.

"What does that say about USA Gymnastics, [the] United States Olympic Committee? Whether they knew or didn't know, that's a big problem, and we need to investigate how this happened."

Raisman demanded an independent investigation into both organizations for mishandling the Nassar scandal. "This is bigger than Larry Nassar," she said. "We have to get to the bottom of how this disaster happened. If we don't figure out how it did, we can't be confident that it won't happen again."

CORRECTION (Jan. 26. 10:20 a.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misstated the number of people Larry Nassar was convicted of abusing. It was seven, not more than 150.)

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