Editor of Swimming World Magazine — Old Pal and Protector of American Swimming Coaches Association Boss John Leonard — Jumps into the New Round of George Gibney Hype and Avoids the Elephant in the Room

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PREVIOUSLY:

“What American Swimming Coaches Association Boss John Leonard Is Now Saying About ASCA and George Gibney Doesn’t Add Up,” March 9, 2018, https://concussioninc.net/?p=12696

“John Leonard’s Mouthpiece, Craig Lord of SwimVortex, ‘Will Think About’ Sharing Purported Documents of American Swimming Coaches Association Chief’s ‘Damning Evidence’ That Supposedly Kept George Gibney From Getting Employed in Colorado,” March 22, 2018, https://concussioninc.net/?p=12763

“Craig ‘I’m a Journalist’ Lord of SwimVortex Is ‘Working On’ a Story About ‘Documents’ That Purport to Show American Swimming Coaches Association’s John Leonard Did Right in George Gibney’s U.S. Visa and Colorado Coaching Job Scenario,” March 27, 2018, https://concussioninc.net/?p=12788

“Craig Lord Shuts Down SwimVortex — And Stays Silent Over the Mystery ‘Documents’ That He Claimed Exonerate American Swimming Coaches Association Boss John Leonard in the George Gibney Cover-Up,” May 2, 2018, https://concussioninc.net/?p=12881

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by Irvin Muchnick

The hype machine is cranking for the BBC / Second Captains podcast documentary series on George Gibney. This would suggest that the series will, indeed, be dropping next month, after a postponement of the original air date with the implausible explanation that the delay was “due to the current global pandemic.”

Let’s hope the BBC Sounds podcast does a good job of telling the story of the now-climaxing federal government investigation of Gibney’s status as a permanent resident alien — 25 years after his arrival on a mysteriously timely diversity lottery visa, and a decade after he failed in an application for U.S. citizenship because he had lied on it about his 1993 indictment in Ireland (where he had been a two-time Olympic swimming head coach) on 27 counts of sexual abuse of youth athletes is his charge.

These instances of molestation, certified as “vindication” for Gibney’s accusers in a 1998 Irish government report, included his rape and impregnation of a 17-year-old during a 1991 training trip in Tampa, Florida, by his club, the Trojans, out of Newpark Comprehensive School in Blackrock, County Dublin.

Today’s two BBC hype articles, one in the Irish Times and the other in the industry-captive Swimming World magazine, recycle greatest hits of the Gibney saga while ignoring everything that has happened in the last five years — including the current federal investigation launched after the 2017 settlement, at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, of this reporter’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for documents from Gibney’s immigration file.

Of special interest to those who want to keep current is an American swimming coaching job offer letter to Gibney, with all salient features completely redacted. U.S. District Court Senior Judge Charles R. Breyer, in ruling “(mostly) in Muchnick’s favor,” cited my reporting of suspicions that John Leonard and the American Swimming Coaches Association had “greased the wheels” for Gibney’s safe harbor here.

The first hype piece today is “Game Changers: Gary O’Toole took a stand when others turned their heads,” Irish Times, https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/other-sports/game-changers-gary-o-toole-took-a-stand-when-others-turned-their-heads-1.4303442. It is Gibney history boilerplate from the Irish media, with appropriate kudos to the great Gary O’Toole, a root whistleblower.

The second hype piece today merits special comment: “As BBC Counts Down to ‘Where’s George Gibney?’ Podcast, Efforts of Dr. Gary O’Toole to End Abuse Are Back in Focus,” Swimming World, https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/as-bbc-counts-down-to-wheres-george-gibney-podcast-efforts-of-dr-gary-otoole-to-end-abuse-are-back-in-focus/.

The author, Craig Lord, a British journalist, ran a website called SwimVortex for five years. In 2019 Lord became editor-in-chief of Swimming World.

At the time of his shutdown of SwimVortex, Lord was in the middle of a controversy over his claim that ASCA’s Leonard had shared with him documents proving his innocence of any suggestion that either he or his organization had helped agent Gibney’s transatlantic relocation. (See the four spring 2018 Concussion Inc. articles linked at the top of this one.)

It hardly needs to be added that today’s Swimming World entry by Lord makes no mention of the controversy of two years ago. Elliptically and irrelevantly, Lord does write, “In the course of our own research, Swimming World has had sight of letters in which the American Swimming Coaches Association alerts potential employers to Gibney’s past, as well as other exchanges in which Gibney complains, through a lawyer, to ASCA that he is being prevented from gaining work by ASCA’s interventions.”

In addition to not producing these documents or even quoting verbatim from any of them, Swimming World crucially does not clarify whether such ASCA communications came before or after Gibney’s employment as coach of the USA Swimming age-group club in Arvada, Colorado, in 1995.

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 — order the ebook at Amazon Kindle, https://www.amazon.com/George-Gibney-Chronicles-Establishments-Governments-ebook/dp/B07NZ6S3PJ, or get an emailed PDF copy by remitting US $3.49 via PayPal to paypal@muchnick.net.

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