The USA gymnastics is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons once again. It’s the allegations against Iowa Athletics women’s gymnastics program head coach Larissa Libby that have added to the ever-lasting concerns over the integrity of the sport. Well, this is not the first time when the gymnastics community was taken aback by the distasteful allegations against an official that left everyone shocked.

Larry Nassar is an infamous name in the domain, who was accused of mol**ing female gymnasts, was later found guilty, and was sentenced to 175 years in prison. Sadly, these are not the only instances when USA gymnastics came under the radar of sports pundits due to the objectionable controversies that formed dark clouds around the sport. Let’s delve deeper and explore the most disgraceful gymnastics controversies over the years.

When Larry Nassar tainted gymnastics with his despicable deeds


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Larry Nassar was formerly employed as a physiatrist at USA Gymnastics and the Károlyi Ranch, and he used to treat many female athletes. But later in the time, several complaints were lodged against him for s**ally abusing his patients, among which most of the victims were minor girls. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to the latter charges and was sentenced to 175 years in jail. Renowned names like Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, and several others had testified against him at the time. This was reported to be the biggest sex a**se scandal in sports history, and it remains a blemish on the sport to date.

The recent Iowa incident

As per the reports from The Daily Iowan, the staff and team members of Iowa Athletics have raised their concerns against coach Libby regarding the environment within the program. The facility said in its statement that efforts are being made to ensure that it provides the student athletes with a safer and more courteous atmosphere. Phil Catanzano, the co-founder of the Education and Sports Law Group, has been given the responsibility to undertake the review. However, the final report is yet to be submitted, as the case is still under investigation.

When Simone Biles faced the bitter pill of improper scoring

In 2021, Biles had already established herself as one of the most decorated sporting icons in history, having won four Olympic golds and 19 world championships at the time. She was pulling maneuvers that even her male counterparts were unable to replicate, but a conflict started to surface that the Ohio native was not being accurately assessed by the judges, and her performances and her exceptional routines were undervalued. It was reported that she was not credited efficiently for the moves that were super difficult to perform, and hence, it all started.

 The MyKayla Skinner selection saga


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MyKayla Skinner is a renowned name in USA gymnastics, but in 2021, when Skinner fixed her berth on the US team for the Olympics, her selection was met with mixed reactions. Some of the fans appreciated her, while most of them questioned her selection and stated that she shouldn’t be given priority over her compatriots, like Riley McCusker and Kara Eaker. During the Olympics as well, her fans weren’t happy with her being snubbed from the team competition in spite of Skinner’s high level of difficulty.

via Reuters

Other key controversies permeating around the purview of USA Gymnastics


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Despite the steps being taken to provide the gymnasts with the best facilities, the on-ground results seem disappointing. Jennifer Sey, a former USA gymnastics athlete, made claims that mental harassment is an everyday thing for the athletes, and they are constantly being abused by their coaches and other officials. “They’re stretched to the point of injury; they’re denied food; they’re fat-shamed. The child is really just beaten down. And this culture is so deeply embedded that it’s almost invisible,” was the statement she gave to Vox.com in 2021.

Read More: ‘Disgusting, Disappointing, and Uncalled For’: Ohio State Men’s Gymnastics Team Under Fire for Unsportsmanlike Conduct Towards Illinois Women’s Team