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Sports

USA Gymnastics bans Westmont coach from sport

WESTMONT – A well-known gymnastics coach, who operated Illinois Gymnastics Institute in Westmont for nearly 40 years, has been banned from coaching the sport by USA Gymnastics after an investigation revealed he allegedly violated the organization’s code of ethical conduct that prohibits sexual misconduct and sexual relations with an athlete.

“USA Gymnastics placed Todd Gardiner on the USA Gymnastics’ Permanently Ineligible for Membership List for violations of Sections II (H) and II (I) of its Code of Ethical Conduct,” according to a statement from USA Gymnastics, the Indianapolis-based governing body for the sport in the United States.

Gardiner’s name was added Dec. 7 to a list of coaches who are permanently ineligible to coach again in the sport, according to USA Gymnastics.

“An individual is placed on the list based on a complaint and following an investigation and hearing process,” the statement reads. “Each accused member has the right and opportunity to participate in the investigation and hearing process. An individual who is on the Permanently Ineligible for Membership List may not be employed by or associate in any way with a USA Gymnastics member club, nor may he/she participate in any USA Gymnastics-sanctioned event.”

Gardiner, 61, a Lombard resident, has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing, according to media reports. He is one of nine Illinois judges to be named to the ineligible list.

Gardiner was an accomplished gymnast in his youth, according to a biography available online from USA Gymnastics Region 5.

He attended Hinsdale Central High School, where he competed in floor exercises and trampoline. He went on to attend the College of DuPage, Boise State University and George Williams College. He was the 1976 national trampoline champion, the biography states.

He was a member of the USA Gymnastics ethics committee and the winner of multiple coaching awards, according to the biography. Gardiner coached at Illinois Gymnastics Institute, 145 Plaza Drive, which he opened in 1979.

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