USA Gymnastics has released the name list of people whom they declared permanently ineligible for membership with them.

The list included Larry Nassar who is being charged for sexually assaulting dozens of athletes while working as USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician doctor.

As per their website, membership in USA Gymnastics is a privilege granted by USA Gymnastics. That privilege can be withdrawn by USA Gymnastics at any time where a member's conduct is determined to be inconsistent with the best interest of the sport of gymnastics and of the athletes they are servicing.

The move came a year after the abuse scandal broke out.

Since last year, more than 100 women and girls came forward and accused Nassar of sexual misconduct while working at the organization and the University. One of which being Olympic medalist Jamie Danzester.

Nassar, who was the team doctor for U.S. gymnasts at several Olympics, is as well facing charges of child pornography possession and first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a family friend allegedly abused from the age of 6 until she was 12.

Written by Gigi Farid

See also Twistars, Olympic Champion Jordyn Wieber's Former Gym, Hires Coach Kathie Klages Who Is Alleged To Have Covered Up Nassar's Sexual Abuse Against Gymnasts

Aly Raisman Blasts USA Gymnastics Over Poorly Handling Sex Abuse Scandal And They Respond

Spain at the 2015 World championships. Photograph: Ginnastica Artistica Italiana

Spain is the latest country to announce its World championships team. The four gymnasts who will represent Spain in Montreal are Olympian Ana Perez and World championships participants Claudia Colom, Nora Fernandez and Cintia Rodriguez Rodriguez.

This is a very experienced team for Spain. All gymnasts have competed at at least one World championships in the past, and two of them have Olympic-related experience.

Ana Perez, 20, is the most accomplished gymnast on the team. She competed at the Olympics in Rio last summer, where she finished thirty-sixth in the all around in qualifications. Perez competed at two World championships in the past, in 2014 and 2015, and at three European championships (2014, 2015 and 2016). Perez was fourth in the all around at the 2017 London World Cup and third on balance beam at the Cottbus World Cup in 2015.

Claudia Colom, 19, is the other Spanish gymnast on the team with Olympic-related experience, as she competed at the Rio Test Event in the spring of 2016, along with Ana Perez. Perez qualified to the Olympics finishing eighteenth in the all around, while Colom finished twenty-eighth. Colom also competed at two World championships (2014 and 2015) and at two European championships (2014 and 2016). She recently competed at the Szombathely World Challenge Cup, where she finished seventh on the uneven bars.

Cintia Rodriguez Rodriguez, 23, competed at three World championships, in 2010 as a first year senior and in 2013 and 2014. She also competed at two European championships, in 2014 and 2016. Rodriguez competed at the 2017 Szombathely World Challenge Cup along with Claudia Colom. She qualified for the floor, beam and bars final, finishing sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.

Finally, Nora Fernandez, 18, is the youngest member of the Spanish team. She competed at the World championships in Glasgow in 2015 as a first-year senior, as well as at the European championships in 2015 and 2016. She recently competed at the Paris World Cup, where she was eleventh on the uneven bars.

Article by Talitha Ilacqua
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We have been seeing gymnasts training/competing a double Y turn on balance beam for the past few years, but it was never competed at any of the three competitions (Olympic Games, Youth Olympics, World championships) where gymnasts can get their skills added to the CoP and named after them. 

Japanese gymnast Aiko Sugihara, who has been named to 2017 Worlds team, was shown training the skill as part of her preparation for the competition. 

She has competed it before at a domestic competition.

The Y full turn is rated a C while the one and a half one is rated a D. The new skill is expected to receive E rating.

Sugihara has to fully complete the turns and compete it with no fall in order to have it added to the CoP.

If competed successfully, the 18 year old Olympian will be the only Japanese gymnast to have a skill on balance beam named after her in the current CoP.

British Georgia-Mae Fenton and Catherine Lyons, Romanian Paula Tudorache and Russia's Natalia Kapitonova have trained/competed the skill.

Double Olympic champions Aliya Mustafina was seen training the skill shortly after her ACL injury in 2011.

The 2017 Worlds, which will be held between October 2 and 8, will be Aiko's second World championships.

Written by Gigi Farid

Great Britain's 2017 World championships team. Photograph: Claudia Fragapane/Instagram

Great Britain has announced the official team that will compete in Montreal in October. The four gymnasts are Olympians Amy Tinkler and Claudia Fragapane, and newcomers Alice Kinsella and Georgia-Mae Fenton.

The British team is the perfect combination of experienced gymnasts and new faces.

Amy Tinkler, 17, and Claudia Fragapane, 19, bring to the team tons of experience and international medals. Tinkler is the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist on floor, while Fragapane is the 2015 European silver medallist on floor and a four-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist in 2014. Both gymnasts were members of the 2015 British team, which won an historic bronze medal at the World championships in Glasgow.

With the Downie sisters out with injury, two spots on the British team were open for less experienced gymnasts to take advantage of. To bring Alice Kinsella and Georgia-Mae Fenton is great experience for them and a big investment for the future of British gymnastics. Alice Kinsella is the 2017 British silver medallist in the all around. In 2016, as a junior, she competed at the European championships, where she won silver on beam, on floor and with the team. Georgia-Mae Fenton is a  2017 World Challenge Cup beam silver medallist, as well as the 2017 British bars silver medallist.

Article by Talitha Ilacqua
Ragan Smith headlines the USA's World championships team. Photograph: Ginnastica Artistica Italiana

The number-one gymnastics country in the world has finally announced its World championships team. The United States will send Olympic alternates Ragan Smith and Ashton Locklear, and first-year seniors Jade Carey and Morgan Hurd.

Ragan Smith was no surprise. Smith, 17, has dominated the all around stage this year, winning the American Cup in March and the national title at the P&G Championships last August. She will have some international competition in Montreal for the all around crown (read: Larisa Iordache has looked insanely good lately), but a medal, of whichever colour, is certainly within her grasp. Same goes for her two best apparatuses, beam and floor. She is not as dominant as Simone Biles was last quad, especially on floor, but she could win medals on both events. Smith has recently improved so much on bars that she could even make the event finals on the latter apparatus. She is likely to come home from Canada as the United States’ most decorated gymnast.

First-year senior Jade Carey, 16, was also hardly a surprise, because she is the only American to compete two vaults at the moment and she has incredible difficulty on floor. On vault, she competes a Rudi and an Amanar, which propels her in the Olympus of vaulters with the highest combined difficulty in the world, along with China’s Wang Yan. Carey’s Amanar has been up-and-down this season, but there is not high level competition on vault this year, and Carey has a strong chance of a medal. Despite not being as clean in execution, she reminds me of 2009 vault World champion Kayla Williams, who came out of nowhere to win the vault World title in London (and then went on to become a star at Alabama).

Ashton Locklear, 19, was more of a question mark. The Olympic alternate looks as polished as ever on the uneven bars, but her difficulty is quite low (5.5), because she has not regained all her inbar work yet (which is a pity, because it is the epitome of beauty-on-the-uneven-bars, and also of beauty in general really). The international uneven bars field this year is strong, but no one compares with Locklear’s execution, who could then earn a spot in the final. Once there, anything can happen. Many gymnasts bring more difficulty to the table, but Locklear has experience, execution and a reputation on her side, which may win her a medal.

The fourth spot could go to almost anybody, after Riley McCusker withdrew from the Selection Camp last week due to a stress fracture. After what we can assume was a tough decision, it was decided that first-year senior Morgan Hurd, 16, will have the honour to represent the U.S. at Worlds. Surprising? Yes and no. When we saw Hurd at the P&G Championships last month, she was coming back from an elbow injury, and she did not look particularly polished. Since then, however, she has kept improving, and in the video USA Gymnastics posted about her at the Selection Camp, she looked on fire: great DTY, beautiful double-double on floor, extraordinary lines on bars.

Other gymnasts had the potential to make the team. Jordan Chiles, who was named the alternate, has an Amanar and stuck everything we were allowed to see at the Camp, Alyona Shchennikova looked great on bars (and has a 6.3 D-score), my darling Trinity Thomas is a raw diamond with incredible potential. None of these gymnasts, however, who would have been perfect for a team competition, fit this year’s team, which is an individual championships only, as none of them seem to have the potential to medal on any event. The same could be said for Locklear, but Locklear. Has. The. Execution. (and the reputation, and she is a pro gymnast).

Overall, this is an excellent team, which shows plenty of potential for Montreal and for the years to come too. Ragan Smith and Jade Carey seem likely to come home with at least a medal. Morgan Hurd has potential to medal in the all around, and could possibly have a shot also on bars and beam. Ashton Locklear is still a big question mark, but her uneven bars work is exquisite, and if anything, we will have the pleasure to enjoy her routine once more this year.

Article by Talitha Ilacqua
Photo by Silvia Vatteroni
Italy's most successful gymnast Vanessa Ferrari has been chosen to represent her country's team at the upcoming World championships which will be held next month in Montreal, Canada.

This will be the seventh time for Ferrari to compete at Worlds. She has a total of 5 World championships medals - all around gold and uneven bars and floor exercise bronze in 2006, all around bronze in 2007 and floor exercise silver in 2013.

Montreal will be Ferrari's first major international competition since the Rio Olympic Games.

The three time Olympian had dealt with a tendon injury which required surgery after Rio. Last month, she announced that she was no longer seeking a place on the Montreal team explaining that she had an injury relapse. She stated that Worlds was never the goal but rather the Olympics and there is no need to rush.

Desiree Carofiglio, first year senior Sara Berardinelli and Rio Olympian Lara Mori will compete along side Ferrari in Montreal. 

Rising star Martina Maggio ended her preparation for Montreal last month following a knee injury.

Popular Italian gymnast Carlotta Ferlito was excluded from Italy's Serie due to bureaucratic issues concerning her registration to the competition ending her chances of making the Worlds team.

While two time Olympian Erika Fasana, who only competed on bars at Italian Nationals, has not regained her former level yet.

Written by Gigi Farid

Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina has released her very first training footage of her comeback.

The video, which is sped up, shows Mustafina taking baby steps on the uneven bars with the help of coach Evgeny Grebenkin.

She captioned the video "My favorite bars, one year later".

The double Olympic champion has started her comeback journey earlier this month after three months of giving birth to her daughter Alisa.

Aliya is set to debut her competition comeback at next year's European championships which will be held in August. However, National head coach Valentina Rodionenko said that her comeback might move forward and be debuted at the Russian championships in April.

A post shared by Aliya Mustafina (@musaliya135) on

Written by Gigi Farid

American singer Britney Spears tweeted a video of herself showing off her gymnastics skills in celebration for Los Angeles being awarded the 2028 Olympic Games.

In the video, Spears does back tucks, round offs, back handspring and handstand walks.

"Fun day yesterday at gymnastics! So excited to hear the Olympics are coming to LA in 2028... already getting in the spirit" she captioned it.

It is no secret that Spears is fan of the sport. She has included gymnastics moves in her video clips and on stage-performances throughout her singing career.

She also enrolls her sons in gymnastics classes.

Days ago, Paris and Los Angeles were confirmed as hosts of 2024 and 2028 Olympics. 

2024 will mark the centennial of the 1924 Summer Olympics, which was held in the same city, and was the last time Paris held the Olympic Games.

Paris will become the second city to host the Olympics three times (1900,1924 and 2024) after London (1908, 1948 and 2012).

Los Angeles has hosted the Olympics twice before in 1932 and 1984. 2028 will be the fifth time the United States has hosted the Olympics with 1904 and 1996 Olympics being held in St Louis and Atlanta respectively.

Written by Gigi Farid 

In her highly controversial book, whose highlights were tweeted by gymnastics blogger Luba Baladzhaeva, Khorkina accused WADA of being unjust.

The legendary Russian gymnast recalled the story of Andreea Raducan at 2000 Sydney Olympics arguing that if Raducan was Russian, she would have received a harsher punishment.

Raducan, who is Romanian, was stripped of the all around Olympic gold medal due to testing positive for pseudoephedrine. 

The then sixteen year old gymnast was given cold-medicine pills by the team doctor that contained the banned substance before the all around final.

Raducan and the Romanian Gymnastics Federation maintained her innocence explaining that she was an underage athlete who had followed her team physician's instructions.

She was allowed to keep the gold and silver medals she won in team and vault final competitions respectively since her test samples of both days were clean.

The FIG believed that Raducan was innocent in this situation hence decided not to impose any suspension or punishment on her beside having her lose the gold medal while  the team doctor was viewed as the guilty party.

Khorkina compared Russian Rhythmic gymnastics stars Alina Kabaeva's and Irina Tchachina's doping situation to Raducan's.

The pair tested positive for furosemide, a diuretic sometimes used by athletes to shed weight quickly, at the Goodwill Games in 2001 but were allowed to compete at that year's World championships which was held two months after the Games. 

Both gymnasts were stripped of the medals they won at both competitions. Each gymnast won six medals at Worlds and five medals at Goodwill Games.

They were banned for one year and put on probation for another. They had their appeal rejected by the world's top sports court.

The Russian head coach, Irina Viner stated that her gymnasts were innocent. She claimed that the gymnasts had accidentally taken food supplements that contained the banned substance. 

Khorkina said that Raducan's doping story is an example of WADA's unfairness pointing out that they had the Romanian gymnast stripped of one medal and did not impose any suspension while at the same time they did not show the same empathy towards Kabaeva and Tchachina.

"As we were explained then, the athlete had a cold and took some medicine according to her doctor's recommendation" wrote Khorkina.

"Back then, as far as I know, the athlete was forgiven - she was stripped of only the gold medal in the all-around,"

"While she was allowed to keep the rest of her medals! Obviously, the doctor was at fault in this story and not the 16 year old gymnast."

"Maybe this sentence was not harsh because it concerned a very strong Romanian team"

"Then why didn't they show the same softness to our leaders in rhythmic gymnastics Alina Kabaeva and Irina Tchachina after the Sydney Olympics, who didn't even dope!"

Written by Gigi Farid

Photo by Ginnastica Artistica Italiana
With the September 13th withdrawal of Riley McCusker from the United States (US) World Championships Selection Camp to be held September 18-22, the US’ nominative roster has a gaping hole. With so many permutations to fill this final slot, it might be easiest to invent a three-sided coin and flip it.  

Before McCusker’s withdrawal, the nominative worlds list was Ragan Smith, McCusker, Jade Carey, and Ashton Locklear.  Although USAG coaching staff has made no formal announcements about which events gymnasts will compete, it seems likely Smith and the gymnast in the open vacancy will compete in the all-around, and Carey and Locklear will compete as specialists. 

Here’s valiantly hoping that all Locklear difficulty is back, particularly her inbars.  

From her strong showing at Classics and P&G’s, prior McCusker was the team’ssenior women’s second-best all-arounder. There are three key contenders for her vacancy: Jordan Chiles, Trinity Thomas, and Morgan Hurd. At first glance, Chiles may seem like the clearest choice: she’s coming just off her second-place finish to Smith at P&G’s with huge tumbling and the potential to vault quite well, despite an uncharacteristic fall on night 2 of competition.  

Thomas, in contrast, has the potential to outscores Chiles on the beam: Thomas is a consistent, beautiful beam worker who outscored Chiles both nights on beam. However, her overall start value across all four apparatuses must include a DTY for her to be a truly formidable force in the all-around.

Finally, although she finished sixth overall at championships, I cannot discount Morgan Hurd from grabbing that second all-around spot.  

With its remarkably difficult tumbling, gorgeous choreography, and her flexibility, grace, poise, and stunning musicality, Hurd gives a clinic on power and artistry in her floor routine.  

She moves with purpose and confidence on beam, and her bars, while not enormously strongly, are certainly passable.  It is not inconceivable, that, given the opportunity, in the upcoming competition at camp, she could outshine Chiles and Thomas.  

I’m interested in your thoughts and comments.  Think I’ve missed a dark horse? Leave a comments below!

Written by Suzanne Duke