Procter & Gamble to 'evaluate' USA Gymnastics sponsorship

Procter & Gamble to 'evaluate' USA Gymnastics sponsorship
The logo of Dow Jones Industrial Average stock market index listed company Procter & Gamble (PG) is seen on a tube of toothpaste in Los Angeles, California, United States, April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
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(Reuters) – Procter & Gamble will “evaluate” next year whether to negotiate another sponsorship deal with USA Gymnastics (USAG), a company spokesperson said on Thursday.

Responding to a report it had dropped its sponsorship in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal involving a former team doctor, Procter & Gamble said it had fulfilled the terms of its deal.

USA Gymnastics confirmed on Thursday that Procter & Gamble and Kellogg’s had completed their sponsorship contracts.

Procter & Gamble has been the biggest sponsor of USAG since 2013, while Kellogg’s sponsored national tours.

“We will evaluate whether to renew our partnership next spring, in light of our longer term priorities and continued actions on their part,” Procter & Gamble spokesperson Tressie Rose said in a statement to Reuters.

“We support the actions USA Gymnastics has taken thus far, including accepting the recommendations by an independent expert and hiring a new Safe Sport Director.

“We want to ensure all voices who have been affected by abuse have been heard and that USAG takes all measures necessary to address such vitally important issues.”

Kellogg’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

USA Gymnastics expressed optimism both companies would remain involved as sponsors.

“Although our contract for the last term with Kellogg’s and Procter & Gamble ended in 2016 and 2017, respectively, we are exploring opportunities with both companies about joining with us in further building a culture of empowerment,” it said in a statement.

USA Gymnastics’ former team doctor Larry Nassar pleaded guilty in a Michigan court to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct last month.

Olympic champions Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas are among those who have said they had been sexually abused by Nassar.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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