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USA Gymnastics' Interim President Resigns After 4 Days

Mary Bono is second leader to step down in 2 months
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2018 5:10 PM CDT
Then-Congresswoman Mary Bono, R-Ca., speaks during a meeting of the Joint Committee Session on addressing the Nation's Opiod Crisis at the National Governors Association Summer meeting at the Greenbrier...   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

(Newser) – Just four days into her job as interim president of USA Gymnastics, Mary Bono is out. Bono, a former Republican congresswoman, had just replaced former president and CEO Kerry Perry, who herself resigned after just nine months on the job amid criticism she was not adequately responding to the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal. But Bono quickly came under fire for a September tweet in which she defaced a Nike logo after the company featured Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign; Olympic champion Simone Biles expressed her displeasure with Bono's stance on the matter, and other criticism followed. Bono deleted the tweet and released a statement Saturday saying she regretted posting it, but more criticism followed. This time, it was Bono's previous work for law firm Faegre Baker Daniels that came under fire, with another Olympic champion, Aly Raisman, bringing it up, CNN reports.

It was a former attorney for that firm who allegedly worked with Nassar on false statements about why he couldn't attend big events in the lead-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics in order to cover up the fact that he was under investigation for child sex abuse. "My teammates & I reported Nassar's abuse to USAG in 2015. We now know USOC & lawyers at Faegre Baker Daniels (Mary Bono's firm) were also told then, yet Nassar continued to abuse children for 13 months!? Why hire someone associated with the firm that helped cover up our abuse?" Raisman tweeted Monday. Faegre Baker Daniels said in a statement that it helped report Nassar to the FBI in 2015, and USA Gymnastics said Bono did not work with USAG or Nassar while she was at the firm. In her statement Tuesday, Bono said her resignation "comes in the wake of personal attacks that, left undefended, would have made my leading USAG a liability for the organization." She also defended her Nike tweet, saying she was just exercising her First Amendment rights, Sports Illustrated reports. There have been at least two other high-profile departures from USAG since May, one of them after just three days on the job. (Read more USA Gymnastics stories.)

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