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Despite Being Under Investigation For Alleged Verbal And Psychological Abuse, Valerie Liukin To Coach USA Team In Germany

Valeri Liukin, the father and coach of US 2008 Olympic all around champion Nastia Liukin, will reportedly head Team USA at an international ...



Valeri Liukin, the father and coach of US 2008 Olympic all around champion Nastia Liukin, will reportedly head Team USA at an international competition in Germany.

The 55 year old coach is currently under investigation by the U.S. Center for SafeSport for multiple allegations of verbal and psychological abuse of young gymnasts.

“If (Liukin) is under investigation and they know about it why are they sending him with minors out of the country?” said McKenzie Wofford, a former U.S. national team member who trained under Liukin at his WOGA gym and who was allegedly abused by him.

"Pretty speechless about the fact that @USAGym decided to let Valeri lead the team in Germany," she tweeted.


Wofford wrote in a complaint to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, that "being called fat, worthless, weak, stupid, idiot, etc. was a normal occurrence," and that "going into the gym, I was terrified about what was going to happen that day. While there were multiple incidents that were traumatizing."

She also said that Liukin forced her to continue practicing at a 2011 U.S. national team training camp despite the young gymnast having a fever and diarrhea, accusing her of "being a wimp and faking" and made her "show the trainer my diarrhea after I went one time in front of everyone."

Megan Marenghi, another former gymnast who trained under Liukin, accused him of being verbally abusive toward her, mostly concerning her weight.

The feeling of worthlessness continued to fester following her time training with Liukin and caused her to overdose twice and attempt suicide, according to bleacherreport.

"This just speaks to how nothing has truly been done to make sure the system is changed with USA Gymnastics. (Liukin) shouldn’t be the national team on an international assignment. He shouldn’t be coaching period, at least until the allegations are investigated. The whole gymnastics world is going to see him back coaching. It’s like (USA Gymnastics) is sending a message: there’s absolutely no change here," Megan stated.

In 2006, former gymnast Natasha Crabb sued WOGA, Liukin, and others saying that a coach [ Chris Wagoner] had been sexually abusing her and was allowed to continue working at the gym’s second location, despite them being aware of the abuse.

In her lawsuit, she claimed WOGA was negligent and breached its duties for numerous reasons.

Earlier this month, Liukin was in the running to be named the high-performance director for USA Gymnastics and considered the favorite to earn the gig. However, Gymcastic later reported that he is no longer under consideration for the position.

In 2016, he was named the coordinator for the United States women's national gymnastics team, replacing the retiring Márta Károlyi. He resigned less than 18 months later amid the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal.

According to  Indianapolis Star, Liukin praised the Karolyi Ranch back then, saying he "grew up in that system." He saw little need for change. "There is no point in changing something that isn’t broken," he said. "There is nothing new for me. I believe in it."

Update: there were comments on Reddit that says Liukin won't be heading the USA team, he is only going as US gymnast Konnor McClain's head coach.

Update: “Valeri Liukin will be part of the delegation by virtue of being the personal coach of several of the team members,” (Jill) Geer wrote in her email to SCNG, referring to the Stuttgart event


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