US Olympics Gymnastics Coach Ban For Abuse Of Athletes

  • Ban for 8 years
  • Given 2 years probation
  • Cannot attend any gymnastics competition except her daughter’s competition

Coach Maggie Haney, the former coach of Olympic team gold medalist Laurie Hernandez has been given 8 years suspension by USA Gymnastics.

Haney was suspended by USA Gymnastics in February amid allegations of emotional and verbal abuse of athletes.

The coach had also been accused of pressuring athletes to compete while injured.

It was alleged that Haney had screamed, threatened, bullied and harassed American gymnasts.

Both Hernandez and Riley McCusker, a member of the 2018 squad which earned World Championship gold, reportedly testified against their former coach.

But in a twist of the case; most gymnastics coaches are behind their colleague by defending her including several National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I gymnasts and former US national team coaches.

According to the Orange County Register, a three-person panel ruled that Haney had failed to “provide a safe, positive and healthy environment with a culture of trust and empowerment”.

She was also found to have “engaged in severe aggressive behaviour toward a minor that included teasing and ridiculing that was intended to control and diminish another person”.

USA Gymnastics have confirmed Haney has been given an eight-year suspension.

Haney can reapply for membership following the completion of the ban, which would depend on her completing specified Safe Sport courses.

She would also be placed under a two-year probation.

Haney is not allowed to attend any USA Gymnastics events during the suspension, other than to take and attend her daughter’s competitions.

“USA Gymnastics can confirm that the Safe Sport hearing related to Maggie Haney has concluded,” USA Gymnastics said.

“The independent hearing panel – comprised of three members of the gymnastics community, including an attorney, a club owner, and a former national team athlete – found that Ms. Haney violated the USA Gymnastics Code of Ethical Conduct, Safe Sport Policy, and other policies.

“As a result, the hearing panel determined that Ms. Haney is suspended from membership, and any coaching of USA Gymnastics athletes or in member clubs, for a period of eight years, effective immediately, followed by a two year probationary period.

“After the suspension concludes, Ms. Haney may reapply for membership after submitting proof of completing certain specified Safe Sport courses

Haney’s sanction is set to expire on April 30 in 2028.

Her lawyer Russell Prince told the Orange County Register that he expected the decision to be appealed.

“The ruling is regrettable but in no way surprising considering the heavy handed nature of the investigative and hearing process,” said Prince.

“There is no fundamental fairness to the manner in which these matters are resolved.

“Clearly, I would anticipate an arbitration.”

USA Gymnastics had been forced to apologise last week after a “calendar error” meant the organisation had told parties to expect a decision on the case on April 22, rather than April 29.

By discernsportblog

Former sprinter, Taewondo and Badminton Player. Sport Physiotherapist

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