USA Swimming Chief Chuck Wielgus’s Email Response to Hearing of Sarah Ehekircher’s Grooming and Abuse by Coach Scott MacFarland: ‘My Gosh … I Am Copying Our Legal Counsel …’

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Here is the full text of an April 22, 2010, email exchange between Sara Ehekircher and the late Chuck Wielgus, executive director of USA Swimming.


From: Sarah Ehekircher

Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 7:37 PM

To: Chuck Wielgus


Dear Mr. Wielgus,

I want to bring to your attention a matter that has haunted me for many years. When I was a junior in high school, Scott MacFarland got into bed with me at a swim meet and had sex with me, he told me that he loved me and that because of what was going on with me at home, I needed to be loved.

This ridiculous relationship went on for 7 years off and on. He had me believing that I couldn’t live without him. This relationship did a lot of damage to my life, and I just recently started telling the truth about it after seeing the 20/20 piece on TV.

I also coached swimming for almost 15 years, and witnessed first hand the sexual harassment of swimmers by coaches, and how drugs and alcohol play a huge role in the lives of many well known and not well known coaches. I have never believed that US swimming made sure that swimmers were safe. I just witnessed a whole bunch of coaches co-signing each others bullshit. It’s always been a good ole boys club.

I also work for a very brief time at ASCA. While there I spoke to John Leonard about what happened to me as a swimmer. His response was-your not the only one that it’s happened to and you need to let it go, there is nothing that you can do about it now.

I have also sent emails to 20/20, and will be contacting a lawyer in the next few days.

Sarah Ehekircher


From: Chuck Wielgus

Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 8:11 PM

To: Sarah Ehekircher

Cc: Kathy Parker; Richard R. Young

Subject: Re: (No Subject)

Sarah – my gosh – your letter touches me in so many ways and while I am neither a lawyer or a counselor, I do think that you absolutely should be talking with experienced professionals. I am currently out of the country, but am compelled to at the very least acknowledge that I have received your message and want to assure you that USA Swimming will cooperation and work with you in the most appropriate way possible. I am copying our legal counsel, Rich Young to make him aware of this and to help us determine what is the best way to move forward.

I will be back in Colorado Springs on Monday and you should certainly feel free to call me – my direct line is 719-866-4544. Chuck



“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,”

“Sarah Ehekircher Describes the American Swimming Coaches Association’s John Leonard As the Boss From Hell — And a Creep and Sex Harasser to Boot,”

“What Sarah Ehekircher Says ASCA’s John Leonard Told Her About His Military Career — And What Leonard Said About It in a 2012 Deposition,”

“It’s Time to Fix Sports’ Sexual-Abuse Culture — for Good” (Outside magazine),

“Should USA Swimming Go Down?” (Outside magazine, 2014),

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