Former Olympic Coach John Geddert Once Admonished A Gymnast For Daring To Speak Out Against Her Coaches

AP Photo/Kathy Willens
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

If you’ve been following the sentencing of Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics team physician who sexually abused more than a 100 women and girls under the guise of medical treatment, you’ve probably heard John Geddert’s name mentioned a lot. Many of the survivors have called out Geddert, a former Olympic gymnastics coach, for his mentally and physically abusive treatment of them during their training, which allowed Nassar to play the role of “good cop” at Geddert’s gym and earn their confidence and trust. Nassar “treated” gymnasts in the backroom at Geddert’s gym, Twistars, and many Twistars gymnasts sought treatment from Nassar at his MSU office.


This weekend, 1996 Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu posted an email that Geddert had sent her in 2008 before her memoir, Off Balance was published. This book was highly critical of USA Gymnastics and Moceanu’s former coaches, Martha and Bela Karolyi, for their emotionally abusive tactics. At the time it was published, Martha Karolyi was the national team coordinator for the women’s gymnastics team.

Geddert, who was suspended by USA Gymnastics on Friday, hadn’t yet read the book when he wrote to Moceanu; he’d seen the initial quotes that were being released and her Bryant Gumble interview—Moceanu went on Real Sports in 2008 to talk about the Karolyis and USA Gymnastics—and he “was wondering how you could stab this sport in the back.”

Moceanu didn’t stab gymnastics in the back; she tried to save it. It was Geddert, Nassar, and USA Gymnastics who have destroyed the sport.