US Olympic Committee sacks executive over Nassar abuse silence

Alan Ashley, the US Olympic Committee chief of sport performance, was sacked on Monday in the wake of an independent report that said that neither he nor former chief executive Scott Blackmun elevated concerns about the Larry Nassar sexual abuse allegations when first reported to them.

The 233-page report concludes that their lack of meaningful action allowed Nassar to abuse dozens more girls over 14 months of silence after he stopped working at USA Gymnastics-approved events in August 2015 until he was sacked from his employer Michigan State University and arrested on charges of sexual misconduct.

“USAG’s and the USOC’s inaction and concealment had consequences,” said the report. “Dozens of girls and young women were abused during the year-long period between the summer of 2015 and September 2016.”

Blackmun resigned from his position in February, citing health concerns.

Nassar was jailed for life earlier this year for the abuse of more than 250 athletes, including several stars of the United States’ gold medal-winning teams at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

“While Nassar bears ultimate responsibility for his decades-long abuse of girls and young women, he did not operate in a vacuum,” an executive summary of the report, compiled by law firm Ropes & Gray, said. “Instead, he acted within an ecosystem that facilitated his criminal acts.”

“The US Olympic community failed the victims, survivors and their families, and we apologise again to everyone who has been harmed,” said Susanne Lyons, USOC independent board member and incoming board chair.

Last week USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy.