USA Gymnastics Suspends Coach Maggie Haney for 8 Years

US Riley McCusker (L) is hugged by her coach Maggie Haney after making her routine in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Uneven Bars Final to win the gold medal during the Lima 2019 Pan-American Games in Lima, on July 30, 2019. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images)

USA Gymnastics has suspended elite coach Maggie Haney from the sport for eight years after multiple athletes claimed that she verbally and emotionally abused them.

The accusations – which included forcing athletes to train through serious injuries – were laid out during two months of hearings in front of an independent panel.

Olympic champion Laurie Hernandez testified against Haney while world champion Riley McCusker wrote a critical letter against the coach. According to Karen Goeller, another gymnastics coach who submitted a formal complaint against Haney in May of 2019, at least six families accused the longtime coach of abuse.

As a result of the hearings, Haney is banned from membership and coaching of any USA Gymnastics athlete or in any member gym for eight years. The suspension will immediately be followed by a two-year probationary period after which Haney may reapply for membership if she completes specific Safe Sport courses.

Haney owns MG Elite Gymnastics in Morganville, New Jersey, where she continued coaching athletes throughout the USA Gymnastics investigation. Since 2013, Haney has coached at least one gymnast on the junior or senior national team each year.

Judie Saunders, an attorney representing Hernandez and other athletes in the case, is confident that Haney’s suspension is “a micro step in the right direction for how athletes are treated in the hypercompetitive world of sports.”