Valeri Liukin Resigns As USA Gymnastics National Team Coordinator

Valeri Liukin submitted his resignation from his role as the USA Gymnastics national team coordinator, according to a report from USA Today Sports. Liukin has served in this position since September of 2016, following the retirement of his predecessor, Martha Karolyi.

In a statement, Liukin said that the “present climate causes me, and more importantly, my family, far too much stress, difficulty and uncertainty.

“It is time to move on in a different direction, at least for now. I wish the coaches and athletes continued success, and I stand ready to encourage and support all of them from a different vantage point.”

USA Gymnastics issued the following response after USA Today Sports' report.

“USA Gymnastics accepted Valeri Liukin’s resignation.  We thank him for his dedication and contributions to the sport of gymnastics and wish him well. We will begin the process to identify a National Team Coordinator for the women’s program.”

Liukin's resignation comes during a time of turmoil for USA Gymnastics as reports come out criticizing their handling and lack of response to the abuse of gymnasts by former USAG doctor Larry Nassar.

In order for USAG to keep their status as the National Governing Body of gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee ordered USAG's entire board of directors to resign, among other requests. USAG announced that they had received all resignations from their board members and are in the process of selecting an interim board. 

USAG has also lost many corporate sponsors including AT&T, Proctor & Gamble, and Hershey's. 

USAG is also looking for a new place to hold their national team camps, after ending their agreement with the Karolyi Ranch, where previous camps were held. The January national team training camp was cancelled while the February one still remains on the schedule with location listed as TBD.

During the Nassar sentencing at the Ingham County, Michigan, courthouse, former U.S. national team member Mattie Larson not only spoke out about Nassar's abuse, but also about the negative culture at USAG that put immense pressure on the gymnasts and also at times made them feel invisible.

“It truly bothers me that one of the adults that treated me this way, making me feel completely invisible, is the new national team coordinator, Valeri Liukin,” Larson said on January 23. “It troubles me that he is now in that position, and I hope for the sake of current and future national team members, that he has changed.”

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Quote and letter via USA Gymnastics:

“The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) issued a letter today to USA Gymnastics initiating actions pursuant to Article 8 of its bylaws, which could ultimately result in the de-recognition of USA Gymnastics as a National Governing Body (NGB). This action is in accordance with their bylaws, which grant the USOC the power to review all matters relating to the continued recognition of an NGB. USA Gymnastics is carefully reviewing the contents of this letter and is evaluating the best path forward for our athletes, professional members, the organization and staff."USA Gymnastics’ board was seated in June 2018 and inherited an organization in crisis with significant challenges that were years in the making. In the four months since, the Board has done everything it could to move this organization towards a better future. We immediately took steps to change the leadership and are currently conducting a search to find a CEO who can rebuild the organization and, most importantly, regain the trust of the gymnastics community. Substantial work remains — in particular, working with the plaintiffs and USA Gymnastics’ insurers to resolve the ongoing litigation as quickly as possible. We will continue to prioritize our athletes’ health and safety and focus on acting in the best interests of the greater gymnastics community.”

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