news 4 days ago

Riley McCusker now training in Arizona after Maggie Haney suspension

The Orange County Register — Scott M. Reid The Orange County Register

Feb. 14-- Feb. 14--World champion gymnast Riley McCusker has shifted her training base from New Jersey to Phoenix in the wake of USA Gymnastics suspension on her longtime coach Maggie Haney.

McCusker verified on a social media account that she is training with multiple World Championships medalist Jade Carey at Arizona Sunrays in Phoenix. McCusker is being coached Brian Carey, Jade's father.

The move comes four months before the U.S. Olympic Trials and just days after USA Gymnastics suspended Haney pending the outcome of a hearing into multiple allegations of verbal and emotional abuse against the coach.

The hearing resumes Monday and is expected to continue for at least two more days. A decision is expected next month.

Haney was suspended Feb. 3. Under the terms of the interim measure suspension, Haney is not allowed to have contact with minor-aged gymnasts.

While McCusker, considered a multiple medal contender at the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this summer, is 18, a majority of gymnasts at U.S. national team training camps and other events or facilities are minors.

Haney is "suspended from All Contact with Minors" under USA Gymnastics' Article 10 interim measures by-law.

According to the by-law if "At any point before a Complaint is resolved under the provisions of this Article 10, interim measures may be imposed to ensure the safety and well-being of the gymnastics community or where an allegation is sufficiently serious that an Adverse Party's continued participation could be detrimental to the sport or its reputation."

The by-law also states that USA Gymnastics "may impose any interim measure consistent with the forms of discipline set forth in this Article 10, and may also include, but not be limited to altering training schedules, providing chaperones, implementing contact limitations, or Member Club restrictions."

"Any person suspended from all contact with minors is prohibited from being in a gym where minors are present," USA Gymnastics spokesperson Ellie Rutland said.

USA Gymnastics has women's national training camps scheduled for Feb. 29-March 3 and April 8-11 in Indianapolis. There are four major international meets scheduled in March. The Olympic Trials are June 25-28 in St. Louis followed by an Olympic preparation camp July 13-16 in Indianapolis.

McCusker has been training with Arizona Sunrays for at least the last two weeks, according to two people familiar with the situation. Jade Carey was a member of the 2019 World Championship team gold medal-winning squad. She also earned silver medals on the vault at the 2019 and 2017 Worlds and on the floor exercise at the 2017 Worlds.

McCusker won a gold medal with the U.S. squad in the team competition at the 2018 World Championships. McCusker missed the World Championships last fall because of a muscle ailment frequently linked to overtraining.

"Thank you Arizona Sunrays for making me feel so welcome!" McCusker wrote on her Instragram account. "I'm excited to be training alongside Jade and the rest of the team for the remainder of my elite journey! I'm happy, healthy, and can't wait to see what this year brings!"

McCusker's parents and Brian Carey did not respond to requests for comment.

Haney coached McCusker at MG Elite Gymnastics in suburban Monmouth Junction, N.J., 45 miles from New York City. Haney also coached U.S. junior national team member Olivia Greaves at MG Elite. Greaves, a 15-year-old who turns 16 in May, won the junior uneven bars title and was third in the all-around at the 2019 U.S. Championships.

Olympic champion Laurie Hernandez and at least a half-dozen families have filed complaints with USA Gymnastics against Haney, according to USA Gymnastics documents and six people familiar with the cases.

Haney is alleged to have screamed, sworn at, threatened, bullied, and harassed gymnasts on a regular basis, according to USA Gymnastics documents and interviews with six people familiar with the complaints. Haney has also told injured gymnasts to remove boot casts and to continue training and competing, according to USA Gymnastics documents and interviews.

Hernandez, like McCusker, trained with Haney at MG Elite. Haney, a former North Carolina State gymnast, gained international attention for coaching Hernandez, a member of the 2016 Olympic gold medal-winning team. Hernandez also won a silver medal on the balance beam at the Rio de Janeiro.

Hernandez reported complaints against Haney to Rhonda Faehn, then USA Gymnastics senior vice president for the women's program, shortly after the Olympic Games. Hernandez testified against Haney on the second of two days of hearings earlier this month.

Haney denies any wrongdoing, according to her attorney Russell Prince.

Hernandez took more than a year off from the sport after the Rio de Janeiro Games. She returned to gymnastics in 2018 and is training at Gym-Max in Costa Mesa and hopes to make the 2020 Olympic team.

View this post on Instagram

Thank you Arizona Sunrays for making me feel so welcome! I'm excited to be training alongside Jade and the rest of the team for the remainder of my elite journey! I'm happy, healthy, and can't wait to see what this year brings!

A post shared by (@riley_mccusker) on Feb 13, 2020 at 6:51pm PST

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