Olympic Gymnast Laurie Hernandez’s Former Coach Suspended By USA Gymnastics For Abuse
It’s a well-known fact that the world of gymnastics can be particularly grueling. Gymnasts are often subjected to long hours of intense workouts, immense pressure to compete, and the high likelihood of sustaining injuries. It’s all part of the sport and what makes elite gymnasts like Laurie Hernandez so inspiring.
What women like Hernandez, do not sign up for however is the culture of abuse pervasive in the gymnastics world. Recently, USA Gymnastics has seen a period of years in which instances of abuse have come to light. In 2018, in fact, Lawrence Gerard Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics national team doctor and osteopathic physician, was sentenced to prison for his sexual abuse of minors who were gymnasts and patients of his. As part of his conviction, many gymnasts were quick to point out that the toxic and abusive nature of certain coaches allowed such abuse to happen. As it turns out while Hernandez never came forward to make a claim against Nassar she has recently made one about her gymnastics coach.
Maggie Haney, a gymnastics coach who trained Hernandez during the 2016 Olympics, has been suspended by USA Gymnastics.
USA Gymnastics decided that she would be suspected for a period of eight years for her part in verbal and emotional abuse of athletes. According to reports, once the suspension period is over Haney will be permitted to reapply for membership.
“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,” the organization told People.com in a statement.
Hernandez spoke out about the abuse in an Instagram post shared to her page.
Hernandez, who won a gold and a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, testified against Haney throughout a series of months of hearings which involved other gymnasts who trained under Haney.