Ex-law­maker Bono named in­terim CEO of USA Gym­nas­tics

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - PAGE 2 - By Will Graves Will Graves is an As­so­ci­ated Press writer.

IN­DI­ANAPO­LIS — USA Gym­nas­tics on Fri­day an­nounced the hir­ing of for­mer Con­gress­woman Mary Bono as in­terim pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the em­bat­tled or­ga­ni­za­tion that is still reel­ing from the sex­ual abuse scan­dal sur­round­ing for­mer team doc­tor Larry Nas­sar.

Bono will hold the po­si­tion while USA Gym­nas­tics searches for a per­ma­nent suc­ces­sor to Kerry Perry, who re­signed un­der pres­sure from the United States Olympic Com­mit­tee in Septem­ber af­ter nine months on the job.

Bono spent 15 years as a U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive from South­ern Cal­i­for­nia from 1998-2013. She won her first term in a spe­cial elec­tion run­ning as a Repub­li­can to fill the va­cancy left by the death of her hus­band, for­mer pop star and law­maker Sonny Bono. Mary Bono most re­cently worked at a con­sult­ing firm in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Bono, 57, has a back­ground in gym­nas­tics. She trained for sev­eral clubs for a decade.

“Mary is pas­sion­ate about the sport, and hav­ing her as our in­terim pres­i­dent and CEO will move the or­ga­ni­za­tion for­ward,” USA Gym­nas­tics board chair­man Karen Golz said in a state­ment.

More than 200 women have come for­ward over the last two years claim­ing they were sex­u­ally abused by Nas­sar un­der the guise of treat­ment, in­clud­ing cur­rent or for­mer mem­bers.

The group of sur­vivors in­cludes reign­ing Olympic cham­pion Si­mone Biles, who was named to the 2018 world cham­pi­onship team on Fri­day shortly be­fore Bono’s hir­ing was an­nounced.

Nas­sar is now serv­ing decades in prison for child pornog­ra­phy and sex­ual as­sault. USA Gym­nas­tics is in me­di­a­tion in an at­tempt to set­tle dozens of civil law­suits.

Perry took over as USA Gym­nas­tics pres­i­dent on Dec. 1, but was pushed out last month by the USOC fol­low­ing a se­ries of mis­steps, in­clud­ing the botched hir­ing and fir­ing of its elite de­vel­op­ment co­or­di­na­tor.

The coach, Mary Lee Tracy, was an early sup­porter of Nas­sar when al­le­ga­tions against him be­gan to sur­face two years ago. Af­ter the an­nounce­ment of her pro­mo­tion, Tracy made an at­tempt to reach out to six-time Olympic medal­ist Aly Rais­man — her­self a Nas­sar vic­tim — af­ter Rais­man called Tracy’s hir­ing “a slap in the face for sur­vivors” and proof that the or­ga­ni­za­tion had not changed.

Mary Bono, a for­mer politi­cian, has a gym­nas­tics back­ground.

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