Below is the full text of an email sent this morning by B. Robert Allard, attorney for Kelley Davies-Currin, to Richard Young of the Bryan Cave law firm, outside counsel for USA Swimming.
Dear Mr. Young:
The purpose of this correspondence is twofold.
First, although Ms. Currin remains of the position that her “testimony” during the “hearing” set for tonight is not necessary, she nevertheless would like me, as her counsel, to participate via the telephone. Please provide me with the appropriate details including the call-in number.
Second, I wanted to remind you that it is not without precedent to punish a USA Swimming member without a full “hearing”, much less a “hearing” where a victim of sex abuse is required to “testify”. Recall that on or about January 31, 2009, a photograph of now the most decorated Olympic champion of all time, Michael Phelps, smoking marijuana was published in the internet. Six days later, on or about February 5, 2009, Mr. Phelps was swiftly suspended by USA Swimming. Mr. Phelps obviously was not afforded the right to be “heard” on this matter, in accordance with the Ted Stevens Act or otherwise, before his USA Swimming membership was negatively impacted. This is despite the fact that he did not agree with the punishment, stating that this was “not my decision, but theirs”. The following are excerpts on the reporting of this matter:
From the Wash Post – Amy Shipley
“Michael Phelps is the greatest star our sport has ever had and he is a role model and hero for hundreds of thousands of kids,” USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus said in a phone interview. “Under our code of conduct, we felt we had an obligation to address this issue, to send a message to Michael and to our membership.”
Wielgus said Phelps was made aware of the disciplinary action before it was announced and was supportive of the decision. Wielgus said he decided to penalize Phelps for violating the organization’s code of conduct after discussing the matter with the USA Swimming board of directors, the leadership of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the USOC ombudsman.
Wielgus said all parties agreed the three-month suspension was appropriate based on the circumstances and previous sanctions for other violations. Wielgus said there was no attempt to ensure that Phelps would be eligible to compete at the U.S. championships.
“There was no contriving to have it work out that way,” Wielgus said.
“We felt it was the right period of time. . . . We didn’t arrive at it arbitrarily.”
From Vicki Michaelis at USA Today
“This is not a situation where any anti-doping rule was violated, but we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people,” USA Swimming said in a statement.
Decision fell under the federation’s general code of conduct.
USA Swimming’s board of directors also decided in a conference call Thursday to withhold Phelps’ $1,750 monthly training stipend for the duration of the suspension.
“If there’s any message to be sent here, it’s to be sent to Michael and to the young swimmers – that there’s more than having to say you’re sorry; you have to be ready to take some consequences,” Schubert said.
From Karen Crouse, NY Times
In a statement, the United States Olympic Committee said it was “disappointed in the behavior recently exhibited by Michael Phelps,”
describing him as a role model who was “well aware of the responsibilities and accountability that come with setting a positive example for others, particularly young people.” (why has the USOC stayed silent on Curl?)
From the NY Daily News
Phelps said of his suspension: “It’s not my decision. It’s theirs . . .
I have nothing to say, but if that’s what they want to do that’s their choice. It’s something USA Swimming came up with . . . Obviously, for a mistake you should get punished.”
Here, we are not talking about a most innocuous crime of smoking pot but the sexual molestation of children. The crimes could not be more discrepant in severity. Also, the evidence is just as clear that a crime was committed. Mr. Curl’s signature on a document that was given to USA Swimming months ago should be all that is needed to strip Mr. Curl of his membership, especially considering the fact that the preponderance of evidence is a “more likely than not” standard as opposed to, similar to a criminal hearing, “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
We are hopeful that a double standard will not be created with regard to Mr. Curl. USA Swimming has the appropriate precedent to act immediately even without a hearing.
Attorney for Kelley Currin