USA Gymnastics backtracks on medical director hiring a day after announcement

By Chelsea Howard 1 May 2019 4
USA Gymnastics backtracks on medical director hiring a day after announcement

Just a day after USA Gymnastics hired Edward Nyman to the newly created position of director of sports medicine and science, the organization has announced it will sever ties with Nyman.

USAG backtracked its decision Tuesday, saying Nyman's “employment will not continue due to a conflict of interest," though the organization didn't reveal any other details. 

The move comes as the federation is still recovering from the aftereffects of the sexual assault scandal involving former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar.

Nyman's one-day employment marks the third time since August that a USAG management hire lasted less than a week. Mary Bono (interim CEO) lasted four days, while Mary Lee Tracy (elite development coordinator) was asked to resign after three days.

The announcement of Nyman's hiring brought a strong reaction from the gymnastics community, many of them members claiming in the past that they had been abused by Nassar.

USAG, however, insists Nyman's release was not related to the backlash from the hiring.

"To provide clarity, the decision to terminate Dr. Nyman's employment was not based on any comments made on social media platforms or anywhere else. In accordance with our employment policies, we cannot comment further on this personnel matter," USAG said in a statement when asked to expand on its original comments (via ESPN).

Simone Biles, who says she was abused by Nassar, tweeted Monday in response to Nyman's hiring: "I’m sorry.... what."

The concern, according to John Manly, who is an attorney representing many of the women suing USA Gymnastics over Nassar’s abuse, is that many of the victims do not want another male doctor in the organization.

“Competing elite gymnasts are stakeholders. A number of them were abused by Larry Nassar. None of them were consulted about this pick. None of my clients abused by Nassar want anything to do with male physicians. Typical," Manly wrote Monday.

USAG said Tuesday it will "immediately renew our search to identify a qualified individual to lead our sports medicine and research efforts."

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Chelsea Howard