Former USA Gymnastics Boss Arrested, Accused of Evidence Tampering

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 Nassara 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.

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Nancy Hogshead-Makar

We all know this cascade of events could have just as easily happened at USA Swimming under Chuck Wielgus. Only one difference; no single swimming sexual abuser molested hundreds of athletes. That’s it. Every other element … the failure to report to law enforcement, the knee-jerk reaction to “protect the brand”, telling victims to be quiet, the failure of the good-guy coaches to hold abusive coaches to account, keeping complaints in a drawer, failing to tell the a club that they had a child sexual predator on their deck … and I could go on. Listen to advocates. Don’t question whether we love the sport. Duh, that’s why it’s pretty noble we’re willing to risk relationship – we want to… Read more »

Newt Scat

I’m glad that this is isolated to Gymnastics and nothing related has happened in swimming.

Dia Rianda

Crickets…….in the SwimSwam peanut 🥜 gallery. Comment section for more than 24 hours. A sobering reality for justice perhaps in USA swimming too. I believe what has gone on in swimming is far more sinister. A callous business decision where victims were silenced through scorched earth legal maneuvers and NDA settlements, perpetrators were protected , even sided with by NGB leadership in order to protect the business brand and self indulgent business model. A sport where athletes are nothing more than an expedible product used and abused to help line the pockets of a few. Human exploitation of mostly a child membership (sexually,physically,financially). A non profit monopoly with no real accountability and a made for corrupt structure. There are thousands… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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