US gymnastics coach suspended for 8 years

May 4, 2020 / Coaching
A former US Olympic gymnastics coach has been suspended for eight years for verbal abuse and mistreatment of athletes, according to various media reports.

Maggie Haney, 42, owner of MG Elite Gymnastics in Morganville, New Jersey, trainer 2016 Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez and 2018 World Championships gold medalist Riley McCusker. Haney was accused of verbally abusing and mistreating gymnasts, including forcing them to train while injured.

us gymnasticsSince 2013, Haney has featured at least one athlete on the junior or senior year national team every year.

USA Gymnastics lists Haney as “suspended from all contact” on Thursday, April 30 through the same date in 2028 on its online list of suspended and restricted persons. Part of the suspension is being barred from membership of the federation and not being allowed to train any athlete from USA Gymnastics or its member clubs.

The suspension was handed down by an independent panel after hearings were held into complaints of abuse against Haney, according to a New York Times report. The Orange County Register reported that Hernandez testified against Haney while McCusker wrote a letter critical of the coach.

Upon completion of the suspension, Haney will be subject to a two-year probationary period before she could be eligible to return to the sport.

Haney’s suspension comes not far off the heels of Larry Nassar’s, a former US gymnastics national team doctor, abuse conviction in 2018. He was sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison for abusing female gymnasts while treating them. Additionally, the federation offered Nassar’s victims a $215 million settlement.

A US Senate investigation found that “multiple institutions” failed to adequately respond to credible allegations against Nassar.