USA SWIMMING OPENS INVESTIGATION OF ALEX PUSSIELDI IN RESPONSE TO CONCUSSION INC. REPORTS

Published February 22nd, 2014, Uncategorized

by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce

 

USA Swimming this week opened an investigation of accused pedophile and secret and sex-videotaping coach Alex Pussieldi, a source in the organization’s Colorado Springs office has told Concussion Inc.

The source also said USA Swimming’s action is in direct response to publication by these reporters of a redacted 2005 report by the body’s private investigator. We connected that report to questions about why Pussieldi remained on active coaching status in South Florida from 2004, when he was accused of physically assaulting one of his swimmers, until last year, when he “retired.” He still is not on swimming’s list of coaches – now 100 in number – who have been banned for sexual misconduct.

The swimming source said the investigation of Pussieldi was being spearheaded by two women: one a high-ranking staff member, the other a consulting investigator with experience in the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Among staffers, the obvious possibilities are Susan Woessner, the director of safe sport, and her assistant, Liz Hoendervoogt. Ex-FBI agents who conduct investigations for USA Swimming and its National Board of Review include Paulette Brundage and Nancy Fisher.

On February 7, we presented a story headlined “EXCLUSIVE: Florida Coach Stayed on Pool Deck Nine Years After USA Swimming Investigation of Battery Complaint Against Him Also Revealed Secret Videotapes of Boys Living With Him.” We also linked a facsimile of a redacted summary of a December 2004 interview of Pussieldi’s alleged victim at http://muchnick.net/pussieldi.pdf.

We determined that the coach in question was Pussieldi because the USA Swimming investigator, Dirk Taitt, identified him by the initials “A.P.” in a 2011 deposition. This aligned with news reports of Pussieldi’s departure from Jack Nelson’s Fort Lauderdale Swim Team. The retired Nelson, now in ill health, is an inductee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame who has been accused by his former athlete, famous open water swimmer Diana Nyad, of molesting her in her early teens.

A week after examining the 2005 Pussieldi report by USA Swimming, on February 14, we revealed that a Florida state’s attorney’s investigation in 2007 showed multiple allegations that Pussieldi not only secretly videotaped boy swimmer-tenants in his house’s bathroom (as the Taitt/USA Swimming report redacted excerpt stated), but also that Pussieldi kept videotapes of his sex acts with underage boys (which was not in our Taitt report excerpt).

Our USA Swimming source described the new investigation of Pussieldi as prompted by a “review” of old files. However, that does not explain why Pussieldi has remained on pool decks and unbanned. Nor does it explain who filed a complaint giving rise to the current probe. “This is a direct result of the Concussion Inc. stories, pure and simple,” the source said.

Next, we will be reporting additional aspects of Pussieldi’s controversial history of coaching in Florida. One aspect was his work on the Fort Lauderdale- and Boca Raton-based Pine Crest Swim Team under a coach, Roberto Caragol, who was put on the banned list in 2009 (the year before that list became public) following his arrest on charges of child pornography and solicitation of minors. Pussieldi resigned from Pine Crest in 2008, in the midst of the Caragol investigation – just as Pussieldi had resigned from Fort Lauderdale four years earlier after allegations surfaced of his attack of a swimmer at a practice.

Complete links to Concussion Inc.’s Pussieldi investigation are at http://concussioninc.net/?p=8652.