Links to Concussion Inc.’s coverage of Alex Pussieldi are at https://concussioninc.net/?p=8652.
by Irvin Muchnick
In less than 200 tip-toed words of priceless bureaucratic obfuscation, Canada’s sports minister, Carla Qualtrough, showered off a request by a former Canadian national team swimmer, Jean-Pierre Côté, to intervene in the matter of the presence at the Rio de Janeiro Summer Games of Alex Pussieldi, a Brazilian who is covering the Olympics for one of the country’s television networks after getting run out of coaching in the United States amidst a decade-plus of abuse allegations.
As we reported at the time, J.P. and his wife Carolyn, now swim parents in Florida, wrote to Qualtrough in March and asked the minister to look into Pussieldi’s media credentials and proximity to underage athletes in Rio. During the same period, Australian Olympic authorities were successfully pushing the International Olympic Committee to block Scott Volkers, an Aussie now coaching in Brazil, from access to the Games. But Qualtrough maintained nearly five months of silence on Pussieldi, until last week.
The date of Qualtrough’s letter, August 4, is just the start of the humorless mirth of her handiwork. In the facsimile we uploaded to http://muchnick.net/qualtrough.pdf (after removing the Côtés’ address), you can see that the date was not typed, but hand-stamped. The prevailing theory — I cannot think of another one — is that Madame Minister was advised to hold the letter until the literal eve of the Olympic opening ceremonies. This way, she could claim credit for expressing herself appropriately on the Pussieldi horror show without having to take responsibility for doing anything about it.
“Please be assured that I share your concerns,” Qualtrough wrote. But alas, “the matter that you raise does not fall within my jurisdiction.” The issue “should be resolved in the United States,” she said.
That USA Swimming and Swim Canada have membership and logistical reciprocity is only one of the logical flaws of the Qualtrough dodge here. It is consistent, however, with the pattern of passes Pussieldi has gotten from the global swimming community for more than a dozen years on the cover-up of his web of human trafficking of athletes across borders, and on the credible and essentially unrefuted charges that he has physically or sexually abused some of them.
And all this plays out while Florida Gold Coast Swimming, the USA Swimming local committee that two years ago indefinitely suspended Pussieldi and fined him more than $17,000, still is not denying rumors that Pussieldi has been quietly reinstated.