Embattled USA Gymnastics names 'safe sport' director

Child advocate Shelba Waldron will assume her duties in November, charged with “developing and implementing all aspects of USA Gymnastics' safe sport educational programs and training services”.

USA Gymnastics, still reeling in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal, named a new director of safe sport education and training on Wednesday. (Representational Image)   -  Getty Images

USA Gymnastics, still reeling in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal, named a new director of safe sport education and training on Wednesday.

Child advocate Shelba Waldron will assume her duties in November, charged with “developing and implementing all aspects of USA Gymnastics' safe sport educational programs and training services”, USA Gymnastics board member Julie Springwater said in a statement.

“She will be instrumental in our efforts to create a culture and environment where members feel comfortable speaking up and are fully trained in effective safe sport practices.”

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Waldron has worked before with youth development agencies to create safer environments for children, helping youngsters and those around them recognize the signs of sexual abuse, bullying and other forms of abuse.

“My first task will be to spend time listening and getting to know the USA Gymnastics community — the athletes, club owners, coaches, parents, judges and administrators from around the country — so I can develop a safe-sport educational and training program that works for the community as a whole,” Waldron said.

Olympic champions Aly Raisman and Simone Biles are among the Nassar victims who have criticized USA Gymnastics' response to initial accusations against the doctor as well as the federation's actions since he was jailed for life for abusing more than 250 athletes.

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Former Republican politician Mary Bono resigned as interim chief of the embattled body days after being named to the job.

Raisman said that Bono's association with the law firm Faegre Baker Daniels — which advised USA Gymnastics during the Nassar scandal — made her position untenable, even if she had not worked with the federation at the time.

The furore that greeted Bono's appointment this month was another blow to the federation that was forced to part company with chief executive Kerry Perry after a controversial nine-month tenure.

Former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny, who resigned from the post last year, was arrested last week after a grand jury indicted him on felony charges of tampering with evidence in the Nassar investigation.