THE GEORGE GIBNEY CHRONICLES: What the Hunt For the Most Notorious At-Large Sex Criminal in the History of Global Sports Has Told Us About the Sports Establishments and Governments on Two Continents is available for $3.49 US at amzn.to/2SmU16c. If you don’t have a Kindle-compatible device, you can get a PDF copy emailed to you by remitting $3.49 through PayPal to [email protected].
by Irvin Muchnick
One data point in George Gibney’s quarter-century American odyssey seems clear: He was, at the very least briefly, a member of USA Swimming. Gibney coached at the national Olympic governing body-sanctioned North Jeffco club in Arvada, Colorado, in 1995, before being driven out by local awareness of his indictment in Ireland two years earlier. Anyone who coaches athletes at a USA Swimming practice or competition must be a coach member of USA Swimming.
Yet such is USA Swimming’s dodginess that it won’t even acknowledge this ipso facto. Concussion Inc.’s query about the dates of Gibney’s USA Swimming membership went unanswered by Tim Hinchey, the CEO, and Belle McLemore, the managing director of communications.
And since USA Swimming won’t confirm that Gibney was a member, it follows that the organization won’t elaborate on whether his membership simply lapsed, or was terminated for cause — or even has been maintained squeaky-clean to this very day. Another unanswered question: whether evolving background check procedures would catch Gibney today.
Almost certainly, Gibney is on USA Swimming’s secret “flagged list” of coaches who were never officially banned but are unofficially “watched.” The list is secret and outside the boundaries of governance. Only Hinchey and his inner circle know, and they aren’t talking.
The closest thing to evidence that Gibney is on the flagged list is a research paper circulated to the board of directors by David Berkoff, then a vice president, in 2010. Concussion Inc. first published this document in 2012; it is viewable at http://muchnick.net/berkofflist.pdf. Berkoff got some details about Gibney wrong (referring to the two-time head coach of the Irish Olympic team, for example, as someone “alleged to be one of the worst pedophile coaches in British [sic] swim history.” Berkoff also said that Gibney was “asserted” to have coached in Colorado. But he got one thing right, in all caps: “ARRESTED, RELEASED & ON THE RUN”:
(Florida, Utah, Colorado, Ireland, Scotland)
ARRESTED, RELEASED & ON THE RUN.
Gibney is alleged to be one of the worst pedophile coaches in British [sic] swim history. He is alleged to have had seven child rape charges [sic] dismissed in Great Britain [sic] on legal technicalities and is alleged to have raped an Irish female swimmer he held captive in a Florida hotel room in the early 1990’s while on a training trip.
Gibney apparently lives in Florida but Irish officials are seeking his extradition [sic]. The list of his victims is alleged to be substantial. Gibney is asserted to have coached in Colorado while in the US for North Jeffco Aquatics.”
In 2010 Gibney was denied American citizenship for concealing on his application that he he had been criminally indicted in his native country. Now, had Gibney succeeded with this lie and later been caught in the lie, he would be in the cross-hairs of a current Immigration and Customs Enforcement directive — enforced by a dedicated new office — to kick out of the country those who had gained citizenship by fraud. As it stands, Gibney failed with his lie in that he wasn’t granted citizenship. Yet he is deemed ineligible for revocation of his green card and removal from the U.S. because he was never convicted of a crime!
In the current round of federal investigations, the focus may be on the fraudulent activities of USA Swimming itself.
The group began a background check system around 2006. Even that, however, wouldn’t prevent the state-to-state movements between teams of a poor man’s Gibney by the name of Andy King, whose crimes included the rape and impregnation of a young teen. King finally got sent away to California state prison in 2010.
In 2013 Concussion Inc. caught up with USA Swimming’s consultant on its background check system, a private investigator named Barry Nadell, after we found that he had registered the Internet domain name “HookingUpWithTawnieLynn.com,” along with associated fictitious business names for his entrepreneurial side venture, a multimedia platform about dating. Nadell told me he did very little work for swimming. See https://concussioninc.net/?p=7276, https://concussioninc.net/?p=7305.