UPDATE: Following a hearing by a neutral arbitrator on July 21, all sanctions have been lifted, including the suspension, against Daniel Witenstein, who is the owner of two Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics locations in the Valley.
“I am deeply grateful for all the support shown to me by family, friends, neighbors, past and present members of the Arizona Sunrays family and the entire gymnastics community. I appreciate the opportunity to have the issue of temporary sanctions addressed promptly and, of course, am gratified with the decision. I can’t wait to get back to work,” said Dan Witenstein.
Witenstein will resume his normal activities immediately.
It's a popular place for kids to practice gymnastics and dance, but the owner of two Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics locations has been suspended by USA Gymnastics.
Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics and Dance Centers remain open on Friday. Two locations, one in North Phoenix the other in Arcadia, are owned by national gymnastics coach Daniel Witenstein. Witenstein is now under investigation for allegations of sexual misconduct.
The general manager of the gym stated Friday that the allegations date back 1986. It is news that changed the mind of parent who brought her daughters out to one of Witenstein's gyms.
“I had registered my two daughters for camp here for two days, while I had to go back to work," said one mother, who decided that she will not leave send her daughters to the facility.
"I didn’t feel comfortable having them here,” said the mother.
The mother said she understands the facts of the case are not out yet, but she doesn't want to take her chances.
“Why would I put my daughters in any kind of danger, in a place that maybe -- where that culture -- that's OK. I'm not OK with that."
Witenstein has served ten years on the National Junior Committee with USA Gymnasticss, and also as the chair for a region, an Arizona board member for 15 years, and holds 2 recognitions as Arizona Professional of the Year. For some parents, the news wont change their child's attendance to Witenstein's gym
“Even after hearing about these allegations, I still feel comfortable bringing my daughter here,” said Amelia Hildabran. She has been brining her daughter to the North Phoenix location for three years.
“It’s open space. You can see everything that’s going on. They actually have dance rooms and they have cameras in each room, so it’s very transparent,” said Hildabran.
Meanwhile, officials with Arizona Sunrays have issued a statement on the allegations.
Arizona Sunrays has made us aware of the allegation dating back to 1986 upon which SafeSport has imposed an Interim Sanction without notice or a hearing.
We are not authorized to speak about this as it is an ongoing investigation. This matter is being dealt with quickly and we hope to have additional information for you in the near future. We give our full trust and support to Dan Witenstein and the Sunrays family.