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Olympic Committee gives USA Gymnastics board six days to resign

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Olympic Committee gives USA Gymnastics board six days to resign

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Brendan McDermid Reuters
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In the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal, the United States Olympic Committee has demanded that USA Gymnastics meet six conditions — including the resignation of its entire board by the end of next week — or else face decertification.

In a letter sent Thursday to the USAG board, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun outlined the demands for institutional reform.

"While the USOC encourages USAG to think and act broadly on reforming its culture, we also believe that reform must start with an entirely new board," Blackmun wrote.

Image: Scott Blackmun
Scott Blackmun poses for his photo at the United States Olympic Training Center where he was named CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee on Jan. 6, 2010, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Ed Andrieski AP file

Additional measures include requiring all staff and board members to complete SafeSport training offered by theU.S. Center for Safe Sport within three months and comprehensive ethics training within six months.

The USAG board has six days to resign, or else its status as the sport's governing body will be terminated, the USOC said.

Related: MSU President Lou Anna Simon resigns over Nassar scandal

"Our position comes from a clear sense that USAG culture needs fundamental rebuilding," the USOC letter reads. "This was the overarching finding in the Daniels report and it was demonstrated again in the recent testimony of Nassar's victims. Every athlete connected in any way with USAG must feel safe, supported, and encouraged to speak freely about threats to their safety."

Later Thursday, USA Gymnastics released a statement, but did not specifically indicate whether the full board would resign or not.

"USA Gymnastics completely embraces the requirements outlined in the (letter)," the organization said in a statement after Blackmun's letter. "Our commitment is uncompromising, and we hope everything we do makes this very clear."

Related: 8 times ex-gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar could have been stopped

The USOC's action comes just a day after the sentencing of former U.S. national team doctor Nassar, who now faces up to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing more than 150 young women and girls.

During days of emotional impact statements, numerous victims criticized both USAG and the USOC for failing to protect athletes from Nassar's abuse.

Image: Victim and former gymnast Aly Raisman appears before speaking at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing
Victim and former gymnast Aly Raisman appears before speaking at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar in Lansing, Michigan on Jan. 19, 2018. Brendan McDermid Reuters

In an exclusive interview with the TODAY Show, two-time Olympian Aly Raisman criticized both organizations for allowing Nassar to practice without a medical license in Texas, the site of the U.S. national team camp and Olympic training center where many gymnasts were allegedly abused.

"What does that say about USA Gymnastics, [the] United States Olympic Committee? Whether they knew or didn't know, that's a big problem, and we need to investigate how this happened."

Raisman demanded an independent investigation into both organizations for mishandling the Nassar scandal. "This is bigger than Larry Nassar," she said. "We have to get to the bottom of how this disaster happened. If we don't figure out how it did, we can't be confident that it won't happen again."