I’ve finished lobbing verbal grenades at this year’s American Swimming Coaches Association World Clinic in Las Vegas. Now we proceed to make the participants in next week’s Aquatic Sports Convention in Greensboro, North Carolina — USA Swimming’s answer to the Romney and Obama coronations in, respectively, Tampa and Charlotte — as uncomfortable as possible.
Before moving on, here’s one reader’s wrap-up of my calling out the Carlile Swim School in Australia for having its top people speak at the ASCA convention even though Carlile, for four years, had employed Rick Curl — whose musical chairs posts at the top of the swimming world included being an ASCA coach of the year and an ASCA president, and who is now a positively ID’d child rapist. Carlile’s CEO, Tim Ford, called the implications of my coverage “inappropriate and unfair.” The blog reader commented:
“The Carlile organization has a solid international reputation as a successful commercial operation. In addition, the integrity and reputation of [founder] Forbes Carlile’s legendary name is a strong branding image. Rather than responding to ASCA’s behavior with outrage, Carlile is, in effect, rewarding ASCA for their sordid relationship with Curl by speaking at ASCA. Their name as headliners validates ASCA’s legitimacy and adds to ASCA’s revenue stream. Under these circumstances I would say that to question Carlile about their relationship to ASCA is far from inappropriate and unfair. Rather, I think Ford’s response is inappropriate, unfair, and also disingenuous.”
As we move on, I want to assure readers, who might not have enough background to know that I am not being sensationalistic or choosing aberrational examples, that there is, as an insider put it to me, “no bottom” to the shameful saga of sex abuse in youth swimming.
Submitted for your consideration today is one Simon Chocron. He is listed on USA Swimming’s compilation of banned coaches. On Chocron’s line, the state is “FL,” the date is “10/8/2001,” and the coaches’ conduct code violations are “304.3.4(i), (iii), 5, 15.”
Now here’s “the rest of the story.”
Simon “Danny” Chocron is nothing less than a pedophile hiding in plain sight. He even has a website, http://dannychocron.com/, from his native Venezuela, where is free from extradition on sex crime charges from his days in Florida, since Venenzuela does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.
In 2001 Chocron, a coach at the powerhouse Bolles School’s club in Jacksonville, jumped his bail of $250,000 on 14 felony sex counts, fleeing to Spain. Later that year two alleged victims filed a civil suit against Chocron and Bolles.
In 2004, while on the brink of extradition from Spain to the U.S., Chocron slipped away again, from Spain to Venezuela. And there he sits eight years later, even smiling at us from dannychocron.com and associated social media sites.
As noted previously, the Bolles School program family tree includes the University of Florida’s Gregg Troy, an ASCA board member. For the last five years, the head coach at Bolles has been former Olympic swimmer Sergio López, a bronze medalist for Spain in the 200-meter breakstroke in 1988. López had swum at American University in Washington, D.C., and been trained by — there’s that name again — Rick Curl.
The other noteworthy aspect of the Chocron case is that the civil claimants against him were a 16-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy. Almost all the documented child rape in swimming is man-on-girl. I’m convinced that one of the unfortunate details separating the attention given to Jerry Sandusky and Penn State from that given to the far larger youth swimming scandal is the profile of the victims. Sandusky molested at-risk boys, which is immediately recognized as gross. Swimming coaches, by and large, have preyed on young girls from two-parent middle-class homes; those crimes are perversely “normalized.”