Former US Olympic gymnastics coach suspended for 8 years

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Washington, April 30 (IANS) Former US Olympic and national team coach Maggie Haney has received an eight-year suspension from USA for verbal and emotional abuse against her gymnasts.

The decision which came on Wednesday concluded a two-month long hearing in which Laurie Hernandez, a member of the gold medal-winning 2016 US team at the Rio Games, testified against her longtime coach, reports Xinhua news agency.

World champion artistic gymnast Riley McCusker also wrote a letter criticizing Haney.

Haney, once one of the country’s most prominent gymnastics coaches, was found by a USA Gymnastics hearing panel to have failed to “provide a safe, positive and healthy environment with a culture of trust and empowerment”.

She was also found to have “engaged in severe aggressive behavior towards a minor that included teasing and ridiculing that was intended to control and diminish another person”, USA Gymnastics added in a statement.