Ivana Hong is one of five members of the Athlete Task Force ©Getty Images

USA Gymnastics have announced a five member Athlete Task Force which they claim will bring athletes into the organisation's decision making process.

The Task Force will include acrobatic gymnast Shenea Booth, rhythmic gymnast Jazzy Kerber and Leigh Hennessy Robson, a trampoline and tumbling athlete.

Ivana Hong will represent women's gymnastics, while Steven Legendre will be the male gymnast on the panel.

"USA Gymnastics appreciates the dedication these five incredible ambassadors bring to the sport, both for their history of competing in gymnastics and now for serving on our Athlete Task Force," said Kerry Perry, the USA Gymnastics President and chief executive, who joined the organisation in November amid the sport's sexual abuse scandal.

"Athletes are the heart and soul of our organisation, and the Task Force will provide important perspective and guidance for making informed decisions and transforming our culture to one of empowerment, especially for athletes.

"Our athletes' voices are important for our strategic planning and initiatives, and the Task Force will participate not only in our projects, like identifying a permanent high-performance training facility, but also bringing forth ideas and proposals that are important to them.

"The Athlete Task Force extends the opportunity for us to maximize athlete involvement in making USA Gymnastics stronger, safer and more empowered.

"I believe the Task Force will be instrumental in keeping our focus on promoting the highest standards of care for our athletes and members, impactful educational opportunities, and a positive, safe environment for our current and future athletes to thrive, compete and achieve their gymnastics dreams."

USA Gymnastics claim bringing athletes into the organisation's decision making process will help to guide its future.

Task Force members will be involved in the search for a permanent high-performance training facility as well as key athlete-focused initiatives for the organisation and an athlete mentoring programme.

They will also be involved in educational initiatives for safe sport, the concept of an ombudsman for USA Gymnastics athletes, increasing involvement of former national team members and energising the alumni network.

Steven Legendre will serve on the Task Force ©Getty Images
Steven Legendre will serve on the Task Force ©Getty Images

The establishment of the Task Force is part of continuing efforts from the national body to attempt to emerge from the sexual abuse scandal surrounding former national team doctor Larry Nassar.

Nassar has been jailed for up to 175 years after more than 300 people - including members of the women's national team - accused him of abuse.

The Task Force will be voluntary for up to nine former athletes, including the athlete directors on the board for men’s and women’s gymnastics and one former elite athlete per competitive discipline with relevant work experience.

Members commit to serving one year, with the option of a second term.

It is claimed the Task Force will complement the efforts of the Athletes' Council, which is tasked with serving on the USA Gymnastics Board and its standing committees.

The Council are also set to attend national team training camps to address the concerns of current athletes.

"My sole purpose in participating in the Athlete Task Force is to provide insight from a victim and survivor's perspective," said Booth.

"I believe the athletes deserve an independent voice that speaks on their behalf, and that this should be maintained at all costs moving forward in order to assure athlete safety and the equitable treatment to which they are entitled."