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Steve Penny resigns as USA Gymnastics president

By The Sports Xchange
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U.S. women's gymnastics head coach, Marta Karolyi, talks to her team during a team practice session for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 4, 2016. The 2016 Summer Olympics start on August, 5. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/09409f43da0a7c1f40411784f0f0870a/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
U.S. women's gymnastics head coach, Marta Karolyi, talks to her team during a team practice session for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 4, 2016. The 2016 Summer Olympics start on August, 5. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Steve Penny resigned as president and CEO of USA Gymnastics on Thursday, one week after officials within the U.S. Olympic Committee called for his departure as a result of USA Gymnastics' handling of a sexual abuse scandal.

Penny, who has served as the organization's president since 2005, has been under fire since August for failing to do enough to protect gymnasts from sexual abuse or responding appropriately and quickly enough to allegations against coaches.

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"My decision to step aside as CEO is solely to support the best interests of USA Gymnastics at this time," Penny said in a statement.

The winning image of USA Gymnastics has taken a significant hit after a joint investigation by USA Today and The Indianapolis Star revealed in December that at least 368 gymnasts throughout the country have claimed to be victims of sexual assault over the last 20 years.

The nine-month investigation referenced police files and court cases it obtained, which showed that many of the victims were children and almost all of them were girls.

"The Board believes this change in leadership will help USA Gymnastics face its current challenges and implement solutions to move the organization forward in promoting a safe environment for its athletes at all levels," USA Gymnastics chairman Paul Parilla said in a statement.

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