The U.S. Olympic Committee is moving to revoke USA Gymnastics' status as a national governing body. It's a move that could leave the future of 150,000 gymnasts unclear.
Lauren Murphy, 11, is one of those gymnasts who calls USAG home. She's been doing gymnastics her entire life, following after her two older siblings.
“I like the competitive aspect, and I like that you’re on a team," said Murphy.
In a statement, USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland said it was a conclusion that “didn’t come easily,” but that they have to make sure gymnasts “have the support necessary to excel on and off the field of play.”
President of the Gymnastics Training Center of Rochester, Sarah Jane Clifford says the group failed to reorganize after the conviction of former USAG National Physician, Dr. Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for the sexual abuse of more than 150 women in his care in the last 20 years.
“There was a cover up, and they tried to deny the allegations. And many people, the coaches, the staff of USAG have unfortunately been arrested because they lied; they did not tell the truth," said Clifford.
So what does this mean for Murphy and Clifford’s other students? Right now the answer isn’t clear. The Olympic committee says it is trying to come up with a short and long term plan.
“The saddest thing is our sport would be trashed, and it’s only a small group of people guilty of crimes when this is the most beautiful sport in the world," said Clifford
While the committee says gymnastics will still have a place in the Olympics, Clifford says losing the USAG would mean a loss of education, information, and competition that would help gymnasts get to college and above.
“I’m scared that we may have to do less gymnastics, and that we won’t be able to get to a higher level," said Murphy.
The USOC says any decision is still far off. A review, hearing, report and vote all still need to happen. Meanwhile, Clifford and Murphy just want what’s best for their sport.
“It’s not our fault that this happened, so I think we should still be able to do what we love,” pleaded Murphy.