United States Olympic Committee chief executive Scott Blackmun has stepped down following calls for his resignation in the wake of the USA gymnastics abuse scandal, it was confirmed on Wednesday.
Blackmun, who faced stinging criticism for his handling of the case involving team doctor Larry Nassar which rocked the sport, departs after eight years in the role.
The 60-year-old administrator had recently disclosed he was battling prostate cancer.
“Given Scott’s current health situation, we have mutually agreed it is in the best interest of both Scott and the USOC that we identify new leadership so that we can immediately address the urgent initiatives ahead of us,” USOC Chairman Larry Probst said in a statement.
“The USOC is at a critical point in its history. The important work that Scott started needs to continue and will require especially vigorous attention in light of Larry Nassar’s decades-long abuse of athletes affiliated with USA Gymnastics.”
USOC said board member Susanne Lyons would replace Blackmun as interim chief executive as the hunt for a permanent successor got under way.
Blackmun’s departure comes after he had faced calls to resign for his alleged failure to act swiftly as the Nassar scandal unfolded, claims rejected by USOC.
Multiple US senators had demanded his resignation after a Wall Street Journal report that said USOC was made aware of allegations surrounding Nassar in 2015 yet did nothing to intervene.
USOC had defended Blackmun’s handling of the case, with Probst telling reporters in Pyeongchang at the Winter Olympics this month that “he did what he was supposed to do and he did the right thing at every turn.”
Trump relaunches trade battle with Europe
US President Donald Trump relaunched a major trade offensive against Europe on Wednesday, threatening to hit the EU with damaging auto tariffs if Europeans failed to agree a long-delayed trade deal.
"The European Union is tougher to deal with than anybody. They've taken advantage of our country for many years." Trump told Fox Business News on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
"Ultimately, it will be very easy because if we can't make a deal, we'll have to put 25 percent tariffs on their cars," he added.
Trump added that his attention would now to turn to Europe, after he sealed a trade truce with China after several years of a trade war that destabilised the world economy.
Why teen depression rates are rising faster for girls than boys
We’re in the middle of a teen mental health crisis – and girls are at its epicenter.
Since 2010, depression, self-harm and suicide rates have increased among teen boys. But rates of major depression among teen girls in the U.S. increased even more – from 12% in 2011 to 20% in 2017. In 2015, three times as many 10- to 14-year-old girls were admitted to the emergency room after deliberately harming themselves than in 2010. Meanwhile, the suicide rate for adolescent girls has doubled since 2007.
Get ready for Enron II: Republicans are re-opening the energy market to underhanded dealing
Neil Chatterjee, head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is taking our nation back to pre-Enron days when the commission was so weak it didn’t even explicitly prohibit manipulating energy markets.
Under Chatterjee, a former Mitch McConnell aide, the number of new investigations was halved – to 12 – in fiscal 2019, compared with the previous year. The commission reached just two settlement agreements for $14 million, a sixth or less of the annual average for penalties since 2007.