Valley coach suspended by USA Gymnastics for sexual misconduct

Jul 20, 2018, 10:03 PM | Updated: Jul 23, 2018, 1:31 pm

PHOENIX — A Valley gymnastics coach has been suspended by USA Gymnastics pending a hearing on alleged sexual misconduct.

According to USA Gymnastics, Daniel Witenstein has been suspended from all contact with gymnasts as it relates to USA Gymnastics bylaw 9.3 — which relates directly to allegations of sexual misconduct.

The allegations against Witenstein — who is the owner and coach of Sunrays Gymnastics & Dance Center in Phoenix — stems from an incident in 1986.

“I have all the confidence in the world in the exceptional and capable staff of Arizona Sunrays,” Witenstein said in a statement Friday. “It is my hope that the situation will be investigated, properly handled and ultimately resolved in a timely manner.

“It pains me to think that any of our athletes, staff, or Sunrays families will be negatively impacted. As with all families, difficult times arise. I hope to rise from this challenge with a clear resolve and renewed strength.”

The statement went on to say that both Witenstein and Arizona Sunrays will be fully cooperative in the investigation.

Witenstein joins a list of 40 individuals, including Gilbert native and Olympic medalist Alex Naddour, who have been suspended per bylaws 9.3 and 10.5.

Bylaw 10.5 states that “interim measures may be imposed to ensure the safety and well-being of the gymnastics community or where an allegation is sufficiently serious that an Adverse Party’s continued participation could be detrimental to the sport or its reputation.”

Naddour took to Twitter shortly after his suspension was announced in June, stating that he was unsure as to why he had been suspended.

According to The Orange County Register, at least two allegations of sexual misconduct were made against Naddour.

The allegations dated back to 2012 and 2016. There were no details given.

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Valley coach suspended by USA Gymnastics for sexual misconduct