Muchnick in Outside Magazine: ‘It’s Time to Fix Sports’ Sexual-Abuse Culture — for Good’

Sarah Ehekircher, Long-Time Coach, Tells of Her Youth Grooming and Abuse by Scott MacFarland, Her ‘Revictimization’ by USA Swimming’s 2010 Investigation, and Her Sexual Harassment by American Swimming Coaches Association Boss John Leonard
March 6, 2018
Sarah Ehekircher Describes the American Swimming Coaches Association’s John Leonard As the Boss From Hell — And a Creep and Sex Harasser to Boot
March 7, 2018

I’ve been covering sexual-abuse scandals in swimming for the past seven years, and you could have knocked me off a diving board when the sentencing of Larry Nassar, the perverted osteopath who worked for USA Gymnastics, finally led to some organizational accountability. Nassar will be in prison basically forever for his exam-table molestation of more than 150 girls and young women. And public opinion quickly sent USA Gymnastics’ entire board of directors, as well as the president and athletic director of Michigan State University, where Nassar worked, into disgraced retirement.

In Nassar’s wake, the House of Representatives passed legislation, previously approved by the Senate, that compels national governing bodies (NGBs) like USA Gymnastics and USA Swimming to report all allegations of sexual misconduct to police. (Previously, these groups had broad discretion to exercise internal remedies and weren’t required to inform the authorities.) While I applaud this first step, I’m even more intrigued by another development. The bipartisan leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has announced public hearings to fully air reports of the horrors that have occurred inside USA Gymnastics, along with USA Swimming and USA Taekwondo.


From the April issue of Outside magazine. Continued online at

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick