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Coach Maggie Haney suspended by USA Gymnastics for 8 years

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USAG said “Maggie Haney-related hearing” concluded in statement to CNN, adding independent panel “concluded that Ms. Haney had violated the United States Gymnastics Code of Conduct , Safe Sport Policy and other policies. As a result, the Hearing Panel determined that Ms. Haney is suspended from the membership and all training of American gymnastics athletes or member clubs, for an eight-year period … “

The organization did not release details of the allegations that led to the suspension. But the Registry, citing interviews and documents, reported that several athletes allegedly, during hearings that began in February, believe that Haney was intimidating and harassing them, including persuading them to compete or train while they were injured.

The registry reported that one athlete who testified against Haney was Hernandez, who left Haney’s tutelage after the 2016 Olympic Games, in which she won a team gold medal and an individual silver medal on the balance beam.

CNN’s attempts to contact Haney’s lawyer, Russell Prince, as well as Hernandez, for comment were not immediately successful. Prince told the New York Times that he and his client disagreed with the panel’s conclusions.

“We do not believe that this in any way assessed all of the facts of the circumstances,” said Prince. “The process is complicated. I anticipate arbitration.”

The suspension means that Haney, who had coached MG Elite in New Jersey, cannot coach any member athlete or club for eight years. She can apply for reinstatement later, the organization said.

After the 2016 Olympics, Hernandez took a break from gymnastics and won the 23rd season of ABC “Dancing with the Stars” in late 2016. She then left her home state of New Jersey to train with a another gymnastics trainer in California.

In an Instagram post on Thursday, Hernandez said it’s hard to share his story with the audience, but it could help others. She does not appoint her coach to the position.

“This kind of behavior and treatment is never acceptable,” she wrote. “There are certain things from my experience that will unfortunately stay with me forever, and I will always work to heal them – but sharing my story gives me a chance to close the chapter, catch my breath and start something new. “

Haney’s suspension comes as USA Gymnastics tries to recover from the sexual abuse scandal involving former national team doctor Larry Nassar.

Nassar, who was once a famous sports doctor for the USAG and Michigan State University national teams, was sentenced to decades in prison in 2017 and 2018 after a series of guilty pleas for child pornography and misconduct sex in federal and state courtrooms.

These charges were laid after more than 150 women and girls said he had sexually assaulted them in the past two decades.

The USAG filed for bankruptcy in late 2018 when it was struggling to recover from the scandal. As part of a plan to get out of bankruptcy, the organization has proposed a $ 215 million settlement for survivors of Nassar’s abuse, but some athletes have criticized the proposal.

CNN’s David Close contributed to this report.

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