USA Gymnastics CEO Kerry Perry resigns

USA Gymnastics CEO Kerry Perry resigned Tuesday after months of criticism from former Olympians and current national team members.

Perry was named in December to replace Steve Penny, who resigned in the spring of 2017 as a result of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

"In the wake of horrific events that have impacted our athletes and the entire gymnastics community, USA Gymnastics has made progress in stabilizing itself and setting a new path to ensure that the safety and interests of our athletes remains at the heart of our mission," Karen Golz, chair of the USA Gymnastics board of directors, said in a statement.

Perry's departure is the second in a matter of days for USAG, which on Friday parted ways with Mary Lee Tracy just three days after she was hired as coach of the women's elite development program. USAG said Tracy had inappropriately contacted one of the hundreds of survivors of sexual abuse by Nassar.

"Over the past nine months, USA Gymnastics has been in the midst of a major transition as it implements recommendations made by Deborah Daniels in her report, following her independent review of the organization's safe sport policies and procedures, as well as directives of the USOC," Golz said.

"These changes have included amending the organization's by-laws and the appointment of an entirely new board of directors, made up of eight independent members and seven from within the gymnastics community. Most importantly, USA Gymnastics has been focused on athlete safety and well-being and ensuring that programs and protocols are in place to prevent all forms of abuse and to encourage athletes to speak up. This process has been challenging, and painful, but is a necessary step in moving the community forward."

Also Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. Justice Department is investigating how the FBI handled the allegations against Nassar. It reportedly took nine months for the FBI to open a formal investigation into Nassar after receiving complaints from gymnasts in 2015.

"Their inaction allowed Nassar to return to MSU for more than a year and molest another 60 girls before he was finally arrested in November of 2016," John Manly, the attorney for many of the survivors of Nassar's abuse, said in a statement. "That is inexcusable and possibly criminal. A thorough and complete investigation needs to be undertaken."

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland, herself relatively new on the job, on Friday called for further changes in USAG leadership hours after Tracy was let go.

"As we close the day, I'm afraid I can offer nothing but disappointment," Hirshland said Friday. "Under the circumstances, we feel that the organization is struggling to manage its obligations effectively and it is time to consider making adjustments in the leadership."

She had said the USOC would be reaching out to the USAG board over the weekend to discuss changes.

"Kerry Perry's resignation gives USAG the opportunity to begin a new chapter -- one that cares about athletes above accumulating medals," Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the committee that oversees the U.S. Olympic Committee and the USAG, said in a statement. "The selection process for the new CEO must be transparent and done in a manner that respects the efforts of those who have demanded change and are already helping shape the future of the Olympic movement.

"As my subcommittee's investigation continues, I will closely follow the selection process to make certain athlete safety and protection is at the forefront of USAG's decision when choosing the next CEO."

Reigning Olympic champion Simone Biles is among those who have been critical of Perry for her lack of communication both privately and publicly, leaving athletes to wonder what changes are being made to create a safer environment.

At last month's national championships in Boston, where Perry addressed the media in public for the first time since taking the job, Biles said, "Hopefully it's going in the right direction, but nobody can know until Kerry Perry speaks up. It's kind of hard."

Manly called on Congress "to take bold and decisive action to oversee United States participation in Olympic sports."

"USA Gymnastics needs to be decertified as an Olympic Governing Body and the Chair and Board of Directors of the United States Olympic Committee should be replaced by individuals who will protect the brave young athletes who represent our country," he said in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.