Under-fire USA gymnastics coach withdraws resignation

Ex USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar stands to hear his fate as he is sentenced in February 2018

USA Gymnastics coach Mary Lee Tracy reversed a pledge to resign on Friday as controversy raged following an outcry over her appointment by victims of jailed former doctor Larry Nassar.

Tracy -- named as USA Gymnastics' elite development coordinator on Tuesday -- said in a statement on her Facebook page she was quitting following a demand to leave by the organization's chief executive, Kerry Perry.

"In an attempt to move in our journey to more 'transparency' and openness, I need to explain why I have to resign," Tracy wrote.

"Kerry (Perry) gave me two options, to resign or be removed ..."

But roughly an hour after her statement, Tracy said she had withdrawn her resignation.

"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 wrote.

A spokeswoman for USA Gymnastics did not immediately respond to a request for for comment from AFP as fresh controversy engulfed the scandal-plagued organization.

Tracy's appointment had triggered outrage amongst gymnasts abused by Nassar, who was jailed for life earlier this year for his attacks on more than 250 female athletes.

Tracy had drawn ire for comments she made in late 2016 -- when the first allegations of abuse against Nassar had already begun to emerge -- in which she described the doctor as "amazing."

"My Olympians have all worked with Larry,” Tracy said. "He has protected them, taken care of them, worked with me and worked with their parents. He's been amazing."

Aly Raisman, a member of the US 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medal teams who was among Nassar's victims, was among those who lambasted Tracy's appointment this week.

"USA Gymnastics has appointed someone who, in my view, supported Nassar, victim-shamed survivors, & has shown no willingness to learn from the past," Raisman tweeted.

"This is a slap in the face for survivors, & further confirmation that nothing @USAG has changed. What a profound disappointment!"

In her initial Facebook post on Friday, Tracy said Perry had demanded her resignation after she attempted to contact Raisman.

"I tried to contact Aly to apologize and hope we could work together to make our sport better and learn from all of the mistakes of the past," Tracy said.

"I was never informed that I was not permitted to speak to Ali (sic) or any of the survivors!"