On Monday, USA Gymnastics hired Edward Nyman as its director of sports medicine and science, a newly created position.
On Tuesday, the organization reneged on the hiring citing a “conflict of interest” and nothing else.
"Dr. Nyman's employment will not continue due to a conflict of interest, and we will immediately renew our search to identify a qualified individual to lead our sports medicine and research efforts," a USAG statement reads.
Another USAG miscue
It’s the latest misstep in a series of management miscues from the USAG in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal.
Mary Bono resigned as USAG’s interim president in October after four days on the job following backlash from prominent gymnasts over her stance against Colin Kaepernick and ties to a law firm that worked with Nassar, who is serving 175 years in prison for child pornography and serially sexually abusing gymnasts under his care as a team doctor over the course of decades.
Bono was the third USAG president in less than a year after Kerry Perry resigned following nine months on the job under pressure for her response to the Nassar scandal.
In September, USAG fired elite development coordinator Mary Lee Tracy after she admitted to contacting Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, a Nassar victim who had an active lawsuit against USAG at the time and had accused Tracy of supporting Nassar in the past.
Little explanation for decision
The backtrack on the Nyman hire came with little explanation and on the heels of a public endorsement from USAG president Li Li Leung on Monday.
"Making this hire early on in my tenure was important because it is critical for our becoming more athlete-centric," Leung said. "Ed's collective professional experiences make him uniquely suited for this role.
“He is a former gymnast and coach; educated in athletic training, biomechanics and exercise science; and has conducted and published impactful sports medicine and biomechanics research.”
Criticism from Biles, attorney
His hiring drew criticism from Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles on Twitter.
John Manly, an attorney representing some of Nassar’s victims in legal action against USAG, directly criticized the decision.
Competing elite gymnasts are stakeholders. A number of them were abused by Larry Nassar. None of them were consulted about this pick. None of my clients abused by Nassar want anything to do with male physicians. Typical. https://t.co/8yYAsUVn3d
— john manly (@johnmanly) April 29, 2019
USAG denies social media pressure played role
According to USA Today, Nyman is not a physician, but a PH.D whose role was to develop a sports science plan for USAG athletes.
Speculation that social media backlash led to Nyman’s firing prompted another statement from USAG Wednesday denying that was the case:
“To provide clarity, the decision to terminate Dr. Nyman's employment was not based on any comments made on social media platforms or anywhere else. In accordance with our employment policies, we cannot comment further on this personnel matter."
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