Suspension reduced for gymnastic coaches accused of emotional and physical abuse

A top gymnastics coach accused of misconduct with ballet and athletes will be barred from playing for five years Instead of eightAfter, an arbitrator gave some testimony as to why his suspension should not have been allowed.

In five years, the penalty imposed on coach Maggie Hanney, still considered the most stringent, has been handed over by USA Gymnastics, the sport’s national governing body, in a case that did not involve sexual abuse.

The arbitrator, hearing Honey’s appeal, upheld the suspension but ruled that the trial panel decided that the cases of four of the 11 gymnasts who complained should not be taken into consideration.

In those cases, the arbitrator, in a ruling last week that was disclosed Tuesday by Honey’s attorney, found that USA Gymnastics had given Honey a fair amount of charges during the February hearing without giving Honey enough opportunity to defend herself. Failed to report. And march.

Arbitration decisions are usually not publicly released, but Haney’s attorney, Steve Altman, revealed this and an official from USA Gymnastics acknowledged the veracity.

“We certainly expect better results,” Altman said, adding that he and Haney had asked the arbitrator to suspend their claim altogether, saying the hearing was biased and flawed.

They are now considering their legal options, Altman said, because the arbitration ruling “has many legal and factual defects, and should be overturned.”

In an email statement, Carole Fabrizio, a spokeswoman for USA Gymnastics, said the federation officials were reviewing the arbitrator’s decision and considering how to proceed. His choices include stopping the arbitrator’s decision, resuming the testimony of four gymnasts and possibly hearing more witnesses or negotiating a motion with Han regarding those additional gymnasts.

The federation statement said, “We believe it is important to ensure that the experience of all involved athletes in the Maggie Hanney case is fully considered as part of the final resolution of the case.”

Hanny’s case has roasted the sport of gymnastics as athletes face a long culture of emotionally and verbally abusive coaches and their sometimes harsh, dangerous ways.

His suspension derives from gymnast accounts – including Laurie Hern├índez, an Olympic gold medalist – who said that Honey forced him to train through injuries, mocking him and silencing his complaints And attempted to subdue the girls with their parents.

During the hearing, Hernandez testified that Honey made fun of her figure and hurt her when she complained of pain, even when Hernandez was trained for a broken wrist.

The listening panel found that Heaney “failed to maintain reasonable boundaries” within her coaching relationship with Hernandez and continued to engage in “fearful, abusive and abusive” behavior towards her.

“The hardest part about this was that there were no bruises or scars to show that it was real,” Hernandez said in an interview in April that the panel punished Haney. “It was all so twisted that I felt it couldn’t be real.”

Another gymnast, Riley McCasker, who has a good chance of making the United States Olympic team for next summer’s Tokyo Games, has filed a lawsuit against Haney, including a stress fracture in his leg, a fractured pelvis. He is accused of forcing her to train with injuries. And a potentially serious condition called exercise-induced rubdomyolysis, which is the breakdown of muscle fibers that can cause kidney damage.

Haney has denied those allegations. McCusker’s testimony was in four cases void in Arcelor’s rule. When reached by telephone, her mother, Jessica McCasker, who testified at the hearing, declined to comment on Honey’s reduced suspension on Tuesday.

Henny, In an interview last month, Expressed some regret at her coaching methods, but said she never intentionally harmed athletes. She portrayed herself as a dying breed of demanding coaches.

She said in the interview that USA Gymnastics dismissed complaints against her because Lawrence G. Nassar sought public support for the game after the sexual exploitation scandal. Longtime national team doctor Nassar has now been imprisoned for molesting more than 200 girls and women, including the national team and Olympic gymnasts.

MG Elite, Honey’s program, runs out of a gym in New Jersey, remains open, and Honey said that more than 30 gymnasts were still training there. Many parents have defended Honey.

“It bothers me a lot to see what is happening in the sport of gymnastics, and so many girls have made allegations of misconduct,” Hanney said in a statement , “She felt unfairly targeted”. USA Gymnastics.

USA Gymnastics officials are trying to change a toxic culture that involves emotional and physical abuse of athletes that were not only tolerated and often encouraged for decades. Prior to the Nassar scandal, the sport welcomed brilliant coaches who sought obedience from their young gymnast, as the coaching style was thought to create winners.

But the transition to a new climate is made easier, and how and what coaches are punished.

Haney has stated that the coaches’ punishment is inconsistent, or not served at all, and stressed that the hearing process lacked due process, a point that was made in its decision regarding some of the gymnast’s allegations.

In addition to McCasker, the other three gymnasts whose charges were dropped by the arbitrator were Cameron Edwards, Zoe Graviere and Skylar Kerrico. He accused Honey of mistreatment and bullying, calling him threats and abusive words, and abusive and emotionally disturbing things, forcing him to train despite being hurt and so much Shouted that it damaged his self-esteem and made him scared. his. Cameron Edwards’ mother, Reona Jones-Edwards, declined to comment on the reduced suspension. The parents of the other two gymnasts did not immediately return phone calls requesting comment.

Catherine Starr is a two-time Olympian and founder of Britain Safe4Athletes, An organization that advocates athletes abused by a coach or teammate, said that one should not rely only on USA Gymnastics to improve the sport. He said that athletes need to be trained to speak clearly and freely about the abuse they experience, and that athletes need to address the underlying issues to coaches who misbehave as they first Overtake their athletes on location. Parents, Starr said, also need to learn that they cannot ignore abuse because they hope to raise a champion.

Overall, he said, those in the sport have many moves yet, and USA is responsible for leading gymnastics.

“Right now, it’s not happening,” Starr said. “They don’t understand how to change the system and they don’t even have their own ship in the right direction.”

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