FIG President Morinari Watanabe met with USA Gymnastics President and chief executive Kerry Perry ©FIG

International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) President Morinari Watanabe has lent his support to new USA Gymnastics President and chief executive Kerry Perry but admitted the country still faces a "tough situation" following the organisation's sexual abuse scandal involving a former team doctor.

Watanabe travelled to USA Gymnastics' headquarters in Indianapolis to meet with Perry, who began her role at the helm of the governing body on December 1.

Perry replaced Steve Penny, who resigned in March following claims they did not fully report allegations of sexual misconduct made by female team members.

Japan's Watanabe, elected FIG President in October 2016, said he respected the courage shown by Perry to take on the position at a troubled time for USA Gymnastics.

Several former members of the American women's team made allegations of sexual abuse against ex-team doctor Larry Nassar, sentenced to 60 years in jail last week for three counts relating to having child sex abuse images on his computer.

Olympic gold medallists Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas are among those to have accused the 54-year-old of sexual abuse during his time as team doctor.

The controversy led to an independent review, commissioned by USA Gymnastics and conducted by Deborah Daniels, a former Federal prosecutor, who spent a significant portion of her career prosecuting child sexual offenders, of the organisation's methods.

USA Gymnastics approved a new Safe Sport Policy as a result of the recommendations made by the review.

"The USA faces a tough situation," Watanabe said.

"I respect the courage that is needed to become President in that situation. 

"I support your challenging spirit. 

"The FIG supports the USA, like any other country. 

"If you have any troubles, please contact us anytime."

Perry immediately vowed to focus on "building a culture of empowerment throughout USA Gymnastics" when she was appointed as President and chief executive.

Perry, whose main experience is in sports marketing and sales, will be responsible for the strategic direction of the organisation, including involving the day-to-day operations of the business to include safety initiatives, athlete and competitive programmes, membership and staffing.

"I appreciated President Watanabe’s visit to Indianapolis, and his support of USA Gymnastics and my vision for the organisation," she said.

"As a life-long fan of gymnastics, I am a passionate advocate for the organisation and the sport. 

"As a mum, there is nothing more important to me than the safety and welfare of our athletes and promoting an environment where everyone has a voice."