USOC chief executive Sarah Hirshland has called for changes at USA Gymnastics ©USOC

United States Olympic Committee (USOC) chief executive Sarah Hirshland has said it is "time to consider making adjustments in the leadership" of USA Gymnastics with the organisation continuing to be embroiled in controversy.

USA Gymnastics have been hit by criticism this week after the appointment of Mary Lee Tracy as elite development coordinator for the women's programme.

Aly Raisman, a triple Olympic champion, slammed the move and said Tracy was someone who, in her view, had "supported Larry Nassar and victim-shamed survivors".

Raisman is one of dozens of women who have documented abuse at the hands of Nassar, a disgraced former team doctor, and Tracy has since been asked to resign after trying to contact the gymnast.

An article in 2016 in WCPO, before Nassar's later conviction and jail sentence, includes a line which says Tracy was "more adamant that she doesn't believe Nassar could be guilty of the charges brought against him".

Hirshland, who started as USOC chief executive in August, believes USA Gymnastics are struggling and changes are required in the leadership.

"We've been following their activity and as we close the day I'm afraid I can offer nothing but disappointment," Hirshland stated, according to USA Today.

"Under the circumstances we feel that the organisation is struggling to manage its obligations effectively and it is time to consider making adjustments in the leadership.

"We are engaging with the USA Gymnastics board to offer our perspective, and also our assistance, as they manage the situation.

"We expect some additional discussions will occur this weekend."

Hirshland's comments followed the appointment and subsequent resignation of Tracy from her role.

USA Gymnastics were criticised by Aly Raisman for their appointment of Mary Lee Tracy ©Getty Images
USA Gymnastics were criticised by Aly Raisman for their appointment of Mary Lee Tracy ©Getty Images

Following the criticism from Raisman, Tracy stated she had tried to contact the gymnast to apologise.

The President and head coach of the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy claimed she was "unaware" she was not permitted to speak to Raisman or any of the survivors.

It comes at a time when USA Gymnastics and USOC are defendants in a lawsuit brought forward by Raisman and several other gymnasts.

"I tried to contact Aly to apologise and hope we could work together to make our sports better and learn from all the mistakes of the past," Tracy wrote on Facebook.

"I was never informed that I was not permitted to speak to Ali or any of the survivors.

"I have notified USA Gymnastics that I am not resigning, I was pressured to make a decision and I am seeking counsel.

"I appreciate all of the support from the community."

Tracy, a member of the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame, has coached more than 25 members of the US national women's team, including four Olympians, and has worked at two Olympic Games and seven World Championships.

She had initially claimed she had chosen to resign, but later changed her statement.

"USA Gymnastics has asked Mary Lee Tracy to resign from the elite development coordinator role," USA Gymnastics confirmed.

"We strongly believe in a culture that encourages our athletes and survivors to speak up and make their voices heard.

"As a representative of the organisation, she inappropriately contacted a survivor, who is also a represented plaintiff, in response to that survivor's public criticism of her.

"USA Gymnastics decided it would be best to move forward without Ms. Tracy in this role."