USA Gymnastics has announced that Rhonda Faehn, senior vice president of the women's program, is "no longer with USA Gymnastics."
This announcement comes following reports that USAG president Kerry Perry asked Faehn to resign, amid fallout of the Larry Nassar scandal.
On Thursday evening, elite gymnasts who were attending the May national team training camp took to social media to voice their support of Faehn. Many gymnasts posted a photo from the camp along with the following caption:
"We have recently found out that Kerry Perry has asked Rhonda Faehn to resign from USA Gymnastics. We strongly disagree in this decision and believe that Rhonda is the glue holding us together right now. We all TRUST her and believe that she is the person helping team USA move forward. #wst🔗 #wewantrhonda"
Other posts were shared from national team members and elite gymnasts on Thursday evening but many have since been deleted, including a screenshot of a text message that Margzetta Frazier sent to Kerry Perry. On Friday, multiple national team coaches confirmed that an NCAA head coach told the gymnasts to delete their social media posts, through a call with one of the athletes at camp.
Two sources close to the situation told FloGymnastics that Faehn received a call from USAG Thursday afternoon asking her to return to the Indianapolis headquarters. Faehn declined the request, choosing to stay at the training camp in Crossville, Tennessee, with the gymnasts and coaches. USAG's public announcement about Faehn no longer being with the organization came late Friday morning the following day.
Reports also say USAG called an all-hands meeting for Friday at noon. According to the OC Register, "USA Gymnastics employees are concerned that other significant changes to organization, including dismissals of top officials or the organization filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, will be announced at a staff meeting Friday morning."
Gymnasts and coaches were still at the national team camp when the official announcement of Faehn's departure came from USAG. Today, Friday, was scheduled to be the final day of the camp. However, official practices were canceled and individual gymnasts and coaches were left to decide themselves whether or not they wanted to hold individual practices.
This May camp was the first full national team training camp since November of 2017.
While many current elite gymnasts and coaches publicly voiced their support of Faehn, some of Nassar's accusers including Aly Raisman have been critical of Faehn remaining in her senior position at USAG.
Raisman told the Indy Star last week, "I reported my abuse to Rhonda Faehn and so did Maggie Nichols, and I don't know what she did or didn't do with that information, but I didn't get contacted by the FBI for over a year, and in that time 50 to 100 gymnasts were molested. This is my frustration of she's still working there, and we need to understand what she did or didn't do, because her and Steve Penny were fully aware of what's going on. I mean, she's still there."
Perry and other U.S. Olympic Sports administrators are scheduled to testify at a U.S. House Subcommittee hearing next Wednesday on sexual abuse within the U.S. Olympic community and how the organizations protect athletes.
Read USAG's full statement on Faehn below:
“Rhonda Faehn is no longer with USA Gymnastics. This is a personnel matter that we will not discuss in detail.
“We recognize that change can be difficult, but we will not be deterred from making necessary and bold decisions to transform our organization. At USA Gymnastics, we are focused every day on creating a highly empowered culture that puts our athletes first.
“Over the next few weeks, we will be communicating some positive changes that reinforce our desire to have our athletes train and compete at the highest level in an empowering and safe environment.
“USA Gymnastics is moving forward and positioning for the future with the commitment to our athletes’ safety and well-being at the heart of everything we do. We encourage member clubs, coaches, administrators and the gymnastics entire community to align their efforts to this important task. Together, we will create a culture of empowerment for the young men and women who are pursuing their gymnastics dreams today while honoring those who have gone before them.”