Laurie Hernandez’s Former Coach Maggie Haney Suspended by USA Gymnastics for Verbal Abuse

A ruling document from the hearing said Haney failed “to provide a safe, positive and healthy environment with a culture of trust and empowerment,” the Southern California News Group reported.

Haney additionally “engaged in severe aggressive behavior toward a minor that included teasing and ridiculing that was intended to control and diminish another person,” the document reads.

A lawyer representing Haney, Russell Prince, said he was not surprised by the panel’s ruling.

“The ruling is regrettable but in no way surprising considering the heavy-handed nature of the investigative and hearing process,” he told SCNG. “There is no fundamental fairness to the manner in which these matters are resolved. Clearly, I would anticipate an arbitration.”

Judie Saunders, a lawyer representing Hernandez and some of the other gymnasts, told The New York Times the suspension is “a micro-step in the right direction for how athletes are treated in the hypercompetitive world of sports.”

Haney did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment at her New Jersey gym, MG Elite Gymnastics.

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