Three USA Gymnastics board members resign in wake of sex abuse scandal
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, speaks with his lawyer during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Three USA Gymnastics board members resigned on Monday in the wake of its former team physician sexually abusing female gymnasts, the organization said.

The resignations include the board chairman Paul Parilla, vice chairman Jay Binder and treasurer Bitsy Kelley, who comprise the gymnastics governing body's executive leadership team, the statement said.

USA Gymnastics has been criticized by several of the sport's top gymnasts during the sentencing hearing of former team doctor Larry Nassar who has pleaded guilty to molesting female gymnasts. About 160 victims were expected to make statements to the court.

Prosecutors have asked for a sentence of 40 to 125 years for Nassar, 54, who was also a prominent physician at a Michigan State University sports clinic. Nassar is already serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison on child pornography convictions.

"We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization," USA Gymnastics said in the statement.

"We remain focused on working every day to ensure that our culture, policies and actions reflect our commitment to those we serve,” it said.

Last March, USA Gymnastics President and Chief Executive Steve Penny resigned as the organization was criticized for how it handled complaints about Nassar.

On Friday, Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman blasted U.S. gymnastics officials for failing to protect her and other women from years of sexual abuse, calling the governing body "rotten from the inside."

(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Richard Chang and Grant McCool)