Steve Penny

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Steve Penny
Portrait of Steve Penny 2012
Steve Penny 2012 in the Oval Office
Stephen D. Penny, Jr.

Alma materUniversity of Washington
Known forFormer president of USA Gymnastics
Home townMercer Island, Washington

Stephen D. Penny, Jr. (born 1964) is an American businessman and sports administrator. Penny was President and CEO of USA Gymnastics from April 4, 2005 to March 16, 2017, and is a key figure in the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal.[3]


Penny joined USA Gymnastics in March 1999 as the Senior Vice President, overseeing a variety of areas focused on business development. Within a few years, his responsibilities grew to oversee the marketing, sponsorship, event operations, television and communications, including the management of the 2003 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Anaheim, California.

Penny began his career in sports as a marketing and promotions assistant for the Seattle Mariners. His other employment has included work in the travel and tourism industries.

Penny has been active within the Olympic movement since joining Turner Broadcasting in 1989 as a research manager for the 1990 Goodwill Games. In 1991, Penny became the director of media and public relations for USA Cycling and eventually became managing director of the United States Cycling Federation, which oversaw the amateur road and track cycling disciplines. Penny left USA Cycling in 1996, returning to his hometown of Seattle to become Vice President of Bob Walsh Enterprises, focused on business development in conjunction with sports marketing, events, media and consulting.[4]

Penny was accused by former Olympic gymnast Dominique Moceanu of being at the forefront of USA Gymnastics ignoring the abuse of gymnasts. She called for his resignation. USA Gymnastics responded by saying that Penny was a leader in ensuring the safety and well-being of USA Gymnastics gymnasts.[5]

While being questioned under oath, Penny testified that USA Gymnastics rarely forwarded allegations of child abuse to police or child protective services without being asked because of a belief that there was not a duty to report abuse if USA Gymnastics was a third party to abuse allegations and concern about damaging a coach's reputation if an abuse allegation was false. USA Gymnastics dismissed complaints as hearsay unless they were signed by an alleged abuse victim or a victim's parent. Officials of USA Gymnastics—which is headquartered in Indiana—may have violated Indiana state law by failing to report abuse allegations.[6]

Penny resigned from USA Gymnastics on March 16, 2017.[7] On October 17, 2018, the United State Marshals Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force arrested Penny. He is alleged to have tampered with evidence during the investigation of sexual assaults against Larry Nassar. The indictment further alleges that Penny ordered the removal of the documents from the Karolyi Ranch that were related to the activities of Nassar. If convicted, Penny faces a punishment of 2 to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.[8]

The day following his arrest, USA Gymnastics placed Penny on its "permanently ineligible" list of members "per the provisions in SafeSport Code for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, III.A.4, and USA Gymnastics Bylaw 10.14(b)."[9]

Personal life[edit]

Penny graduated from the University of Washington in 1987, previously attending Mercer Island High School. He has three daughters, triplets born in 2005.[10]


  1. ^ "LinkedIn".
  2. ^ "gymnastics salary = $458,085". Gymnastics 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  3. ^ "Michigan State University doctor Nassar surrounded by adults who enabled his predatory behavior".
  4. ^ "USA Gymnastics | Steve Penny". Archived from the original on 2017-01-28.
  5. ^ "Dominique Moceanu says USA Gymnastics CEO 'at the forefront' of ignoring abuse".
  6. ^ "A blind eye to sex abuse: How USA Gymnastics failed to report cases".
  7. ^ Almasy, Steve. "USA Gymnastics CEO resigns amid ex-team doctor's sex scandal". CNN.
  8. ^ "Former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny arrested for tampering with evidence". 18 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Steve Penny banned by USA Gymnastics but not the only focus of investigations into alleged Nassar cover-up". Orange County Register. October 18, 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Steve Penny: Five things you should know about former USA Gymnastics CEO". Indianapolis Star. October 19, 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.