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And that's exactly why molesting coaches keep getting hired at the next place.Nobody talks about a coach that is inappropriate with athletes; the coach quietly moves away and gets hired someplace else."Mike Jacki, USA Gymnastics president from 1983 to 1994, noted that gymnastics is a sport in which winners and losers are determined by subjective judging.

The organization as well as individual member gyms have entered confidentiality agreements as part of settlements in negligence cases with gymnasts claiming abuse.

And in court, USA Gymnastics has fought the release of documents that would show how Penny and other top officials have dealt with molestation allegations.

In its statement to Indy Star, USA Gymnastics said it is constantly striving to improve.

In the wake of Indy Star’s August investigation, USA Gymnastics hired a former prosecutor to evaluate its bylaws and offer advice on how to strengthen its policies.

In a statement responding to Indy Star’s questions, it said: “Nothing is more important to USA Gymnastics, the Board of Directors and CEO Steve Penny than protecting athletes, which requires sustained vigilance by everyone — coaches, athletes, parents, administrators and officials.

We are saddened when any athlete has been harmed in the course of his or her gymnastics career.”The organization noted several initiatives aimed at creating a safer environment, including the use of criminal background checks for coaches, the practice of publishing the names of coaches banned from its competitions, and programs that provide educational materials to member gyms.But Indy Star’s investigation found:• USA Gymnastics focuses its efforts to stop sexual abuse on educating members instead of setting strict ground rules and enforcing them.It says it can't take aggressive action because member gyms are independent businesses and because of restrictions in federal law pertaining to Olympic organizations.It also established a policy review panel on its board of directors.“USA Gymnastics is proud of the work it has done to address and guard against child sexual abuse,” the organization said in materials provided to Indy Star. USA Gymnastics has touted its many successes, including years of expansion and recent domination by Team USA at the Olympics.USA Gymnastics also said it's playing a central role in developing a U. Center for Safe Sport to oversee education programs and investigate and adjudicate claims of sexual misconduct for all U. But administrators in the Indianapolis-based organization have declined numerous interview requests from Indy Star.But an Indy Star-USA TODAY Network review of hundreds of police files and court cases across the country provides for the first time a measure of just how pervasive the problem is. Indy Star previously reported that top officials at USA Gymnastics, one of the nation’s most prominent Olympic organizations, failed to alert police to many allegations of sexual abuse that occurred on their watch and stashed complaints in files that have been kept secret. A nine-month investigation found that predatory coaches were allowed to move from gym to gym, undetected by a lax system of oversight, or dangerously passed on by USA Gymnastics-certified gyms.

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