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Ex-President of U.S.A. Gymnastics Takes the Fifth on Nassar Questions

Ex-President of U.S.A. Gymnastics Takes the Fifth on Nassar Questions


Ms. Faehn, a former senior vice president of U.S.A. Gymnastics, was the only one of the three witnesses on Tuesday who provided real information to the subcommittee. She was also the only one who appeared on her own volition. Mr. Penny and Dr. Simon were served subpoenas.

Choking up as she spoke, Ms. Faehn described how she had passed along a coach’s concerns about Dr. Nassar in July 2015, assuming that Mr. Penny would promptly report the information to law enforcement.

Instead, he waited several weeks. Ms. Faehn’s testimony shed light on what had happened between the time Mr. Penny learned of the abuse and when he went to the police about it. For one, Ms. Faehn said, Dr. Nassar was notified about the accusations before the police were.

She also provided documents to the subcommittee that included an email from Mr. Penny to her and five other U.S.A. Gymnastics officials, including the 1984 Olympic gold medalist Peter Vidmar. In the email, dated July 21, 2015, Mr. Penny acknowledged awareness of the “the current issue” about a member of the federation’s medical staff and instructed the email’s recipients “to not have any conversations with anyone concerning this issue until further notice.”

Ms. Faehn also submitted an email from Mr. Penny in which he asked her to help arrange interviews with gymnasts who had complained about Dr. Nassar’s conduct. In the email he emphasized to her that the coaches and parents should be left out of the matter.

Ms. Faehn, who last month was fired from her job with the gymnastics federation, told lawmakers that even though the F.B.I. began an investigation in 2015, she was not interviewed by law enforcement until the Texas Rangers contacted her about a month ago. She described herself as “beyond stunned that I was never interviewed or questioned by anyone.”

“I think there still has to absolutely be people questioned,” she added, referring to other employees of U.S.A. Gymnastics who may know more about the Nassar case or the organization’s missteps regarding it. “There needs to be additional changes.”



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