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USA Gymnastics Holds Hearing on Coach’s Abuse

Andy Berg

USA Gymnastics will consider disciplinary measures in the case against Azarian coach Amanda Hensley after she was accused of bullying and verbally abusing the young gymnasts.

At the heart of Tuesday’s hearings are incidents like the berating one a 10-year-old gymnast endured from Hensley after she was injured during practice.

“Amanda screamed at her and said stop being a baby and making things up,” according to the complaint filed by a parent at the Orange County gym, which was reported by The Orange County Register. “This gymnast went off and cried and no one checked on her to see what was hurt or if she was okay. Finally the older gymnasts went to her and they were worried so THEY called her mom. It ended up being an actual injury that showed up in an x-ray.”

USA Gymnastics has already suspended Hensley, as well as Azarian coaches Vanessa Gonzalez and Perry Davies through Sept. 4. The suspension were pending an investigation.

“As we’ve told you before, I am not allowed to respond to these false allegations at this time due to the confidentiality agreement I signed with USAG,” Hensley said in an email after receiving a request for comment from the Register that detailed the allegations against her covered in this report. “When I can, I will address all these slanderous statements.”

Related: USA Gymnastics Suspends Coach for Emotional Abuse

USA Gymnastics has jurisdiction over emotional misconduct, bullying, hazing, physical misconduct and retaliation related to safe sport complaints involving affiliated members or gyms. The U.S. Center for SafeSport has jurisdiction over cases involving sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, grooming, and child abuse within Olympic sports in this country.

Henlsey is also alleged to have bullied two other gymnasts with back injuries, according to three formal complaints with USA Gymnastics. The Register reports that one of the girl had six back fractures.

“Amanda said she was faking her broken back. But she wasn’t faking it. X-rays showed she had a broken back,” according to a complaint. “Many of these girls have so many injuries and a couple had broken or fractured backs. It is very concerning.”

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