USA Gymnastics has announced its first director of sports medicine and science, Dr Edward Nyman, has left after just one day in his new role.
The Federation said Nyman’s “employment will not continue due to a conflict of interest” but refused to elaborate, USA Today reports.
The question of why any such conflict was not made apparent during the hiring process was put to USA Gymnastics – which responded that it could not comment further as it was a personnel matter.
This latest volte-face is another dismaying episode for an organisation striving to recover from the revelations of abuse of athletes over the past 20 years, with the now-jailed former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar being accused by more than 300 female gymnasts.
It also calls into question the stewardship of the recently-installed chief executive, former gymnast Li Li Leung, who had worked previously for the National Basketball Association.
This is the third time since August that a USA Gymnastics management appointment has lasted less than a week – Mary Bono lasted four days as interim chief executive and Mary Lee Tracy was asked to resign three days after she was named elite development coordinator.
USA Today reports that, in the wake of Nyman’s swift departure, John Manly, an attorney representing a number of women suing USA Gymnastics over Nassar’s abuse, tweeted: “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.
But USA Gymnastics released a subsequent statement saying Nyman’s departure "was not based on any comments made on social media platforms or anywhere else."
Nyman’s new role was not that of a physician – he was installed to develop a sports science plan for all of USA Gymnastics’ disciplines and to oversee its individual medical staff.
He also would have been the liaison between the Federation and the US Olympic Committee and US Anti-Doping Agency.
On the day he was installed, Nyman said he was bringing a “no tolerance policy” to new role.
“My goal is to strengthen and grow the trust of the greater gymnastics community through transparency and open communication with all stakeholders,” said Nyman, who has coached both Junior Olympic and collegiate-level female gymnasts.
“As a parent of two gymnasts, I strongly believe a care model that is athlete-centric is critical for a positive and successful athlete experience.
“Without question, a no-tolerance policy must be enforced for medical providers and staff who fail to put a gymnast’s physical, mental and emotional health first.”