Former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny was arrested this week and accused of evidence tampering during an investigation into sex abuse allegations within the sport.
Penny was the president and CEO of USA Gymnastics from 2005 until his resignation last year. Since then, USA Gymnastics has cycled through a number of executives as the federation has taken criticism for failing to protect athletes. Most notable has been the case of Larry Nassar, a former sports doctor who was at one point a national team doctor for USA Gymnastics. Nassar was convicted of sexually abusing young athletes under the guise of medical treatment and was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison earlier this year.
Reuters news service reports that Penny’s arrest is connected to the Nassar case. Reuters reports that a grand jury indicted Penny in September on allegations that he ordered the removal of documents from the Karolyi Ranch in Texas. The ranch was a training camp site for USA Gymnastics, and one location where many women say Nassar sexually abused them.
“The removal of the documents was done for the purpose of impairing the ongoing investigation by destroying or hiding the documents,” the local district attorney’s office said in a statement.
The Grand Jury says Penny had the documents delivered to him, and it’s unknown where the documents ended up after that.
Penny was succeeded at USA Gymnastics by Kerry Perry, who was forced to resign after only 10 months on the job. The interim CEO after Perry, Mary Bono, only lasted five days, taking criticism from athletes. The sexual abuse scandal has rocked Olympic sports over the past few years. Perry testified for Congress alongside USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey back in May.