Olympic hopeful gymnast Riley McCusker suing ex-coach over abusive tactics, per report

Gymnast Riley McCusker, a 2021 Olympics hopeful, is suing Maggie Haney, the coach she trained with at a Marlboro, New Jersey gym, claiming she was forced to train while injured and subjected to other abusive coaching tactics, according to a report by NJ Advance Media.

Haney, 42, the former coach of Olympic champion Laurie Hernandez, is currently serving an eight-year suspension by USA Gymnastics after a hearing panel ruled in April that she had emotionally and verbally abused gymnasts. Haney has a pending appeal of the ban.

Separate complaints were filed against Haney by McCusker, 19, and Emily Liszewski, 18, in Superior Court of Monmouth County, according to the report. Haney’s assistant coach and owners of gyms and clubs are also named as defendants.

Liszewski is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh. Both gymnasts allege a culture of abuse from Haney that included screaming, body-shaming, and conducting training under unsafe conditions.

In a statement provided to NJ Advance Media, Haney denied the allegations and claimed McCusker’s mother, Jessica, pushed her daughter to overtrain and limited her food intake.

“I hope Jess knows what she’s doing because this situation isn’t going to help calm Riley’s nerves,” Haney said, referencing next year’s Tokyo Olympics, in the statement.

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The suspension of Haney by USA Gymnastics came nearly four years after Laurie Hernandez first filed a complaint against coach. Hernandez testified against Haney at the hearing and McCusker and Liszewski both provided information to USA Gymnastics investigators.

Hernandez during a recent appearance on NBC’s Today Show said her passion for gymnastics was slowly being tainted while being coached by Haney, who trained her for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Follow Danny LoGiudice at @danny_logiudice on Twitter.

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