USA Gymnastics has filed for bankruptcy so it can “expeditiously resolve” claims by athletes sexually abused by former team doctor Larry Nassar
In January, Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in jail after nearly 160 women accused him of sexual abuse.
USA Gymnastics has filed a voluntary petition for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.
“Our sport is safer and stronger thanks to the bravery of these women,” said chair Kathryn Carson.
“We owe it to the survivors to resolve, fully and finally, claims based on the horrific acts of the past and, through this process, seek to expedite resolution and help them move forward.”
In its statement, the governing body said claims against USA Gymnastics are covered by insurance and their value will not be affected.
It added filing for bankruptcy “will enable USA Gymnastics to continue to support its athletes, to fully operate and meet its responsibilities to the entire membership and to expeditiously resolve the claims made by the survivors of sexual abuse perpetrated by Larry Nassar”.
And it said the Bankruptcy Court is the “best forum” in which to allocate insurance proceeds among claimants, who should receive compensation sooner.
USA Gymnastics says the ruling will also allow them to work with the United States Olympic Committee to determine the best path forward.
“We look forward to future conversations with the USOC to demonstrate our commitment at all levels to strengthening the organisation and making gymnastics the best it can be for athletes at all levels,” added Carson.
“USA Gymnastics will continue with its day-to-day operations of directing and managing the sport’s business and implementing initiatives that put the safety and well-being of the athletes at the forefront.
“All of us have the same goal of making meaningful changes for the benefit of our athletes and all members.
“While considerable change has been made, substantial work still remains. We will continue to prioritise athletes’ safety and well-being and acting in the best interests of the greater gymnastics community.”