Two weeks ago I broke the story that Mark Schubert, defrocked head of the U.S. Olympic swimming team, was involved in hiring a private investigator who tracked the movements of a coach named Sean Hutchison and an adult world-record-holder swimmer named Ariana Kukors, with whom he was sleeping. Schubert and his associate Bill Jewell then leaked the information on the Hutchison-Kukors relationship — pretty unspectacular, frankly, in a sport rife with blatant sex crimes against kids — to the Washington Post. See the series of posts beginning on January 24 at https://concussioninc.net/?p=6595.
I promised the full text of attorney B. Robert Allard’s letter about all this to USA Swimming, and here it is, below. Allard is not my source. There are still some good people with good consciences in and around the Olympic company town of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
OPEN LETTER TO USA SWIMMING CONCERNING PENDING INVESTIGATIONS INTO ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT BY BILL JEWELL AND MARK SCHUBERT
To: Susan Woessner
Safe Sport Director
USA Swimming, Inc.
Colorado Springs, CO
Dear Ms. Woessner:
I have the pleasure of representing Dia Rianda relating to wrongful termination, breach of contract and defamation claims against Golden West Swim Club (GWSC) and Mark Schubert.
Per your request, we are hereby providing you with additional information in conjunction with USA Swimmings pending investigations into potential misconduct by USA Swimming certified coaches Bill Jewell, committed both at Fullerton Aquatics Sports Team (FAST) and GWSC, which may violate USA Swimmings Rules and Regulations “Code of Conduct”, Articles 304, 305 and 306, particularly sections 305.1 and 305.2 pertaining to inappropriate touching of children, sections 304.3.8 ,304.3.18 pertaining to inappropriate sexual conduct directed towards minor children, and Mark Schubert while at GWSC which may violate sections 306.1, 306.2, and 304.3.7 pertaining to retaliation for presenting a good faith complaint under the Code of Conduct. As you know, each of the complaints were presented to USA Swimming, at the latest, in July of 2012. Especially in light of the public statements made by you and others at USA Swimming that these matters are taken very seriously, it is our hope and expectation that considerable progress has been made over the last six (6) months. Despite my clients inquiries, she has not provided with any meaningful status report. These matters carry with them great public interest since, as the following will demonstrate, children remain at risk for harm if immediate action is not taken by USA Swimming.
We outline below, and attach the above documents, the circumstances surrounding these matters:
A. The Hiring of a Private Investigator to Conduct Surveillance on FAST Swim Coach Sean Hutchinson and the Leaking of Information to the Washington Post:
Mr. Jewell, a longtime friend of Mr. Schubert going back to when they coached together at the University of Southern California in the 1990s, was the CEO of FAST in 2010. Mr. Schubert was terminated from his position as National Team Director for USA Swimming in the fall of 2010. Soon thereafter, Mr. Schubert hired attorney Michael Bernstein of Florida to pursue a claim for wrongful termination against USA Swimming. Toward the end of 2010, in accordance with Mr. Schuberts sworn testimony, he provided Mr. Jewell with the name of a private investigator who was used to conduct surveillance on a swim coach at FAST named Sean Hutchinson. Apparently, Mr. Hutchinson was suspected of having an improper relationship with at least one of his swimmers. Mr. Jewell testified that he supplied this investigator with the residential addresses of each and every one of Mr. Hutchinsons swimmers. Mr. Schubert testified that at least one photograph was taken by this investigator which was shown to him by his wife, who has worked for this private investigation firm. According to Mr. Schubert, this photograph depicted the respective cars of Mr. Hutchinson and one of his swimmers named Ariana Kukors parked closely together at approximately 5 am in the same parking lot just outside the Mr. Hutchinsons apartment. (During his deposition, Mr. Jewell denied that Mr. Schubert was involved in selecting a private investigator and also that any pictures were taken. He went so far as to state the he specifically told the investigator not to take photographs. Overall, states Mr. Jewell, there was nothing whatsoever uncovered by this investigator that was incriminating in any way.)
Mr. Schubert admitted that he provided information about Mr. Hutchinson to Amy Shipley and the Washington Post, which led to the publication of a December 30, 2010 article about rumors of Mr. Hutchinson having inappropriate relations with swimmers (see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/29/AR2010122903703.html). We suspect, when the totality of the circumstances is considered, that this leak was part of a preconceived plan by coaches Jewell and Schubert to force out Mr. Hutchinson from FAST so that Mr. Schubert could take his place and thereby have a place to coach his Olympic athletes, principally multiple gold medal winner Janet Evans. We also suspect that Mr. Jewell, in furtherance of this plan, confronted Mr. Hutchinson with the photograph and coerced him to voluntarily leave his employ with FAST or else the relationship with Ms. Kukors would be exposed. Regardless of what truly happened to Mr. Hutchinson and FAST, and we will continue to investigate the matter, the end result was that coach Hutchison abruptly resigned from FAST at the end of December 2010 as reported by USA Today (see http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/2010-12-29-sean-hutchison-swimming-coach_N.htm) and Swimming World (see http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/26044.asp).
B. USA Swimmings Unprecedented Investigation into Sean Hutchinson and Comparison to Actions Taken Against Other Coaches Like Andy King and Rick Curl:
Coach Hutchinsons sudden resignation created such an uproar in the swimming community was such that USA Swimming apparently felt compelled to launch an unprecedented investigation. Indeed, this investigation, which started in early 2011, was unique in several ways. First, no victim came forward. As USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Weilgus told reporter T.J. Quinn on ESPNs Outside the Lines in defense of the manner in which the notorious Andy King matter was handled: Its hard to point the finger at a victim, but victims have got to report these crimes. We did not hear of Andy King until April of 2009 (see http://vzaar.com/videos/1159462). (When he made this statement, Mr. Weilgus must have forgotten, if not intentionally withheld, that within a few months of each other beginning in 2002, both the mother of an Andy King sexual abuse victim and a victim of sexual harassment by coach King herself indeed came forward to present written complaints which landed on Mr. Weilgus desk and yet no action was taken against coach King until my client Jane Doe (obviously a pseudonym to protect her identity since she was a minor at the time) displayed the bravery to report Mr. King to the police and effect his arrest in May of 2009.) Mr. Schubert also testified that, starting in 2007, he reported to Mr. Weilgus on three (3) separate occasions that the now infamous Rick Curl had sexually molested another client of mine named Kelley Davies Currin in the late 1980s and that action should be taken against him. (It is unknown why coach Schubert did not come forward with this information much earlier, being that he was told of this matter by Kelley Currin herself when she swam for him over two (2) decades earlier at University of Texas in the early 1990s.) Each time this report was made to Mr. Weilgus, the answer was the same: We cannot do anything unless the victim comes forward. Apparently, an exception was made when it came to Mr. Hutchinson.
The speed at which the Hutchinson investigation was conducted was also unparalleled. From beginning to end, the investigation lasted approximately 45 days. USA Swimming even went so far as to publicly announce on February 14, 2011 the result of its investigation, which was that Mr. Hutchinson had been cleared of any wrongdoing (see http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=1386&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en&mid=4526&ItemId=5229). (Whether the photograph secretly obtained by coaches Jewell and Schubert was ever handed over to USA Swimming, or whether USA Swimming otherwise had knowledge of this photograph is information which you, Ms. Woessner, will have to provide.) To our knowledge, this is the first time that such a public announcement was made by USA Swimming.
From the standpoint of a sex abuse victim advocate, it would be refreshing if USA Swimming took such swift action against other coaches suspected of sexual misconduct. Of note, the investigation of Mr. Curl, especially considering his stature with the swimming community, must constitute the polar opposite of prompt action; the image of a glacier comes to mind. Mr. Curls childhood sexual abuse of Ms. Currin must have been the worst kept secret in the sport. Your own Vice President David Berkoff commented in July of 2010 (see attached Exhibit 3) that it was common knowledge going back as far as the late 1980s that coach Curl, along with former Olympic swim coach Mitch Ivey (against whom, to our knowledge, no known action has been taken by USA Swimming) were banging their swimmers. In the spring of 2011, Ms. Currin came forward and provided USA Swimming with conclusive evidence that coach Curl had sexually molested her in the form of a settlement agreement which set forth a payment of $150,000 in exchange Ms. Currin was forbidden from going to the authorities (see attached Settlement Agreement). Despite this knowledge, Mr. Curl was not banned from USA Swimming until well over a year later. It is unclear as to why there was such a vast discrepancy as to the timing of the investigations as between coach Hutchison and coaches like Rick Curl. When USA Swimmings image or reputation is on the line, there appears to be a lot more incentive for immediate action. When a victim like Kelley Currin, who had to suffer in isolation for almost two (2) decades knowing that her molester was receiving widespread acclaim in the swimming community, however, USA Swimming seemingly turned a blind eye and did not take any action unless forced to (see, e.g. Weilgus- Curl email dated July 20, 2012, which clearly provided the impetus for the banning of Mr. Curl which was announced by USA Swimming on September 19, 2012- see http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/USA/32021.asp).
C. Mr. Jewells Termination from FAST:
Mr. Jewell was fired from FAST in July of 2011 and he promptly filed a wrongful termination suit of his own against FAST for, amongst others, age discrimination. Depositions of two minor swimmers were taken in this case (see attached, which we are submitting only to USA Swimming in order to protect the privacy) which, taken together, set forth the following allegations of misconduct against Mr. Jewell while at FAST:
1. He repeatedly commented upon one minor girl having breasts like anthills (Mr. Jewell admitted to using this term);
2. He referred to another minor girl as having a big rack;
3. He told inappropriate jokes, stating, for example, that losing virginity was analogous to the popping of a balloon; and
4. He told one girl that she should delay taking a field trip to Washington D. C. so that she could have sex with her boyfriend at the Lincoln Memorial.
We contend that these acts violate both the new and/or then existing USA Swimming Code of Conduct. (There have been differing positions taken by USA Swimming as to what rules and regulations apply to a particular claim- either those that existed at the time of the alleged inappropriate acts or when the claim is presented. This again demonstrates an inherent inconsistency with the manner in which USA Swimming conducts its investigations. Regardless, I think that you will find that either set applies here.)
D. The Takeover of Golden West Swim Club by Ms. Rianda and Mr. Schubert and the Retention of Mr. Jewell:
Mr. Schubert and Ms. Rianda began coaching together at GWSC in March of 2011, with Ms. Rianda assuming a majority of the coaching responsibilities. In June 2011, Mr. Schuberts wrongful termination claim against USA Swimming fully and finally settled. Soon thereafter (and we dont think that this is a coincidence), Mr. Schubert formally took over as head coach for GWSC in place of Bob Gillett. Once Mr. Gillett left, Ms. Rianda took on the additional role of General Manager for the club and thereafter developed a web site, data base for times, entry system and team policies. From the beginning, the club was effectively run and managed by Ms. Rianda.
Immediately after Mr. Jewell was terminated by FAST, his old friend Mr. Schubert, without consulting Ms. Rianda, retained him as a volunteer swim coach in July of 2011. Mr. Jewell related to Ms. Rianda that he was fired because FAST deemed him too old to coach and USA Swimming wanted him gone and otherwise retaliated against him for the Sean Hutchison situation and because he and Mr. Schubert were the sources for the Washington Post story. According to Mr. Jewell, USA Swimming helped push him out at FAST so that he and Mr. Schubert could not coach there.
Tellingly, a unique provision contained within the settlement agreement between USA Swimming and Mr. Schubert provided that Mr. Schubert could not coach at FAST. By including this provision, USA Swimming presumably knew that Mr. Schubert had engaged in some funny business pertaining to FAST and took steps to ensure that he could be affiliated with it in any way as a penal measure. What did USA Swimming know about coach Schuberts involvement in the ouster of coach Hutchinson at FAST and why did it go out of its way to demand, as a condition for receiving well over a half million dollars, that coach he could not coach at FAST? Indeed, USA Swimming has steadfastly denied that Mr. Schubert has ever shared incriminating evidence concerning Coach Hutchinson (see letter dated February of 2011 at http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?18370-The-Letter where USA Swimming also denied that there had been any settlement with coach Schubert ). If it is true that no such evidence was provided, and if, presumably, USA Swimming was not placed on notice of anything improper that was done by Mr. Schubert vis-à-vis FAST, why would it care if he coached at FAST, especially since USA Swimming has repeatedly taken the position through litigation in defense of sex abuse claims that it has absolutely no control over the coaches who are retained by member clubs?
E. Continued Allegations of Misconduct by Mr. Jewell at GWSC Concerning the Handling of Minor Female Swimmers:
In September of 2011, Ms. Rianda was promoted again, this time to head age group coach at GWSC at the urging of Mr. Schubert. Later that fall, Ms. Rianda hired Chelsea Peterson and Danielle St. Onge as assistant swim coaches. Joey Gracia was also a coach at that time. All four of these swim coaches (Chelsea, Danielle, Joey and Ms. Rianda) observed on a regular basis Mr. Jewell engaging in appropriate actions with minor girls which included:
1. Massaging girls while they were in the swim suits;
2. Texting with girls after practice;
3. Hanging out with girls off the pool deck alone in isolated places out of ear shot of other coaches;
4. Walking minor girls out to the parking lot (about 100 yard walk each way) with his arm around them; and
5. Allowing, if not encouraging, the girls to wear bikinis to swim practice (a practice which Mr. Schubert forbade).
At the conclusion of 2012, all USA Swimming member coaches, including presumably Mr. Jewell, were tested on the new Athlete Protection rules promulgated rules USA Swimming, which included a strict prohibition of massages by those who were not properly licensed.
In early 2012, Ms. Rianda was telephoned by her assistant coaches with an urgent matter. The coaches reported that they observed Mr. Jewell sitting in his truck alone with a minor swimmer (the same one to whom he referred as having a big rack) for an extended period of time in the parking lot outside of the pool area. They were extremely concerned and sought guidance. Ms. Rianda immediately got into her car and drove down to the club. Once she was seen approaching the truck, Mr. Jewell and the swimmer quickly got out.
This prompted a meeting in mid-January 2012 where coaches Peterson, St. Onge and Gracia met with Mr. Schubert for the specific purpose of presenting grievances about Mr. Jewell (see attached email from coach Peterson entitled I would like to report and St. Onge entitled danielle st onge 1.18 documentation which memorialize representations made during this meeting). My client was not present during this meeting. Complaints offered against Mr. Jewell at this time included:
1. The truck incident;
2. Improper massaging of minor swimmers while they were in their swim suits:
3. The use of vulgarity, including yelling Fucking Pussy! at one minor boy;
4. Extensive texting with swimmers outside of swimming sanctioned events:
5. Touching minor girls in inappropriate areas while they were in their swim suits and while he was teaching them certain swimming techniques;
6. Walking minor female athletes out of the pool area alone with his arm around them (to prove this, Ms. St. Onge felt compelled to take a picture of Mr. Jewell with his arm around one swimmer while walking to the parking lot);
7. Having close and seemingly personal conversations with minor female athletes while out of ear shot from other coaches; and
8. Allowing minor girls to wear bikinis at practice.
In response, Mr. Schubert appeared dismissive and uninterested, stating only that he would talk to Mr. Jewell. He also forbade the coaches from reducing any issues concerning Mr. Jewell to writing and that if any concerns arose in the future they were to be orally addressed to him and him only (this apparently was in response to Ms. Petersons presentation of the attached I would like to report document during the meeting).
Almost immediately after this meeting, the misconduct continued. Specifically, Mr. Jewell was seen with his eyes closed seemingly mesmerized and in a trance while he was massaging a minor female swimmer sitting in her bathing suit and in between his bare legs. The coaching staff was mortified. One of the coaches immediately brought this to the attention of Mr. Schubert, who happened to be present that day. Mr. Schubert screamed BILL! from across the pool in a loud voice, which caused a flustered Mr. Jewell to cease the conduct. Mr. Schubert otherwise took no known action in response to this incident other than to excuse Mr. Jewells conduct by stating that Bill is just doing what he was taught by the people at USA Swimming. At about this time, Mr. Jewell was also observed once again sitting in his truck with the same minor female swimmer alone in the parking lot and involved in what appeared to be an intimate conversation.
F. Ms. Riandas Rebuffed Attempts to Create a Safer Environment at GWSC:
In February of 2012, GWSC received a subpoena from FAST in conjunction with the Jewell v. FAST matter which requested, amongst other things, any written complaints against Mr. Jewell for misconduct. Ms. Rianda, not knowing anything about what happened at FAST, immediately approached Mr. Jewell about this who told her That (referring to the mother of one of the minor swimmers who was deposed in the Jewell v. FAST matter) bitch and her little bitch daughter reported me to USA Swimming. Mr. Jewell admitted that he engaged in inappropriate behavior at FAST (i.e. referring to some of the girls on the FAST team as prostitutes, using foul language and telling jokes to minors with sexual overtones) but expected nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Mr. Jewell characterized this investigation off as a group of lazy little bitch girls that were out to get me and believed that he was being retaliated against for suing FAST. Over the month, Ms. Rianda overheard him relating this story to numerous people.
Later that month, Ms. Rianda contacted Safe4athletes through its web site, downloaded its policies concerning anti-bullying (two swimmers abruptly depart the club due to complaints presented by their parents for bullying) and anti- harassment (primarily to address Mr. Jewells actions) and presented them to Mr. Schubert and the clubs Board for consideration. No action was taken. There was seemingly no interest in enacting these policies. Mr. Schubert labeled them ridiculous.
Several times, Ms. Rianda emphasized to Mr. Schubert the liability of retaining a coach who had previously been fired for questionable behavior. Especially in light of the complaints presented by the swim coaches earlier that year, Ms. Rianda recommended to her partner that Jewell be placed on leave from coaching at GWSC and only come back when it was known for certain why he was fired from FAST. Mr. Schubert disagreed and therefore Mr. Jewell stayed.
In early May of 2012, Mr. Schubert was notified in writing that USA Swimming was investigating Mr. Jewell relating to his prior employment at FAST. (Although Mr. Schubert claimed in his deposition that this was the very first time that he was ever so notified of these allegations, a subpoena had been directed to GWSC months earlier concerning Mr. Jewells allegedly inappropriate actions while at FAST.) Upon receipt of this letter, Mr. Schubert decided to place Mr. Jewell on leave from GWSC. Soon thereafter, Mr. Jewell utilized the services of Mr. Schuberts attorney (Mr. Bernstein) to assist him during this investigation. Ms. Rianda advised Mr. Schubert that it was a bad idea to get involved in the situation and particularly to allow Mr. Jewell to be represented by Mr. Bernstein. Mr. Schubert disagreed and therefore Mr. Bernstein continued to represent Mr. Jewell.
Later that month, Mr. Schubert showered accolades on Ms. Rianda and promoted her once again, this time to be his assistant coach at Golden West College (GWC). Mr. Schubert continually referred to Ms. Rianda, both in writing and verbally, as his partner. Indeed, during the entirety of her employment with GWSC, Ms. Rianda received nothing but praise from Mr. Schubert and she never once received a negative performance review (a fact, coincidentally, highlighted by Mr. Schubert and Mr. Bernstein during their press conference in November of 2010- see http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/swimming/news/story?id=5817309). Over the course of approximately one year when she worked for Mr. Schubert, Ms. Rianda received nothing but promotions, going from assistant swim coach to general manager to head age group coach at GWSC and, just before her termination, assistant swim coach at GWC.
G. Retaliation Against Ms. Rianda for Submitting Claim Against Mr. Jewell Under USA Swimmings Code of Conduct:
In June of 2012, Mr. Jewell unexpectedly appeared on the GWSC pool deck. When questioned by Ms. Rianda, Mr. Schubert announced that Bill has been fully exonerated by USA Swimming. Something in Mr. Schuberts unspoken body language led Ms. Rianda to believe that this was untrue, prompting her to inquire with USA Swimming as to the status of the investigation. Recall, Ms. Woessner, that both you and Mr. Mike Unger communicated to Ms. Rianda that Mr. Jewell had not been cleared and that the investigation was ongoing. At about this time, Ms. Rianda presented a new claim against Mr. Jewell, this one arising from the conduct engaged upon by Mr. Jewell at FAST as recited above.
Ms. Rianda also had a discussion with USA Swimmings Executive Director Chuck Weilgus during this time, at which time she complained about Mr. Jewell and the manner in which Mr. Schubert was continually turning a blind eye to his inappropriate actions. Ms. Rianda reported that, Mr. Schubert appeared to be acting irrationally and struggling mentally. Referring to the period just prior to his termination, Mr. Weilgus lamented that Mr. Schubert was not well and that he has caused more problems for us than you would believe; problems that we still are dealing with.
Ms. Rianda reiterated what she had been told by USA Swimming to Mr. Schubert and how it contradicted his statement that Mr. Jewell had been cleared by USA Swimming. In response, Mr. Schubert became incensed and screamed at Ms. Rianda, telling her: 1) she was never again to discuss with anyone else about Mr. Jewell or she would be fired on the spot, 2) that she should have never gone to USA Swimming, 3) that he had received an email from the law firm representing USA Swimming which stated that Mr. Jewell was not prohibited from coaching at GWC pending the investigation.
In an attempt to avoid a retaliatory firing, Ms. Rianda wrote to Mr. Schubert in mid-June 2012 that the email from USA Swimmings attorney pertained only to GWC and not GWSC (see attached Dia and Schubert email dated June 18, 2012). In another email, Ms. Rianda explained that, even if Mr. Jewell was not technically prohibited by USA Swimming from coaching at the club, he nevertheless presented a grave liability especially in light of the complaints lodged by the assistant swim coaches. If a minor child was mistreated in any way, explained Mr. Rianda, the club faced great exposure to damages since it had been placed on notice of Mr. Jewells improper actions committed both at FAST and GWSC. Ms. Rianda very clearly stated that she would not sacrifice her integrity, risk minor children to even the potential of sexual assault, put the club in a liability situation, or cover up this behavior (see attached Dia to Mark- opinion email also dated June 18, 2012).
These notes were not well received. For the next couple of weeks, Ms. Rianda was ostracized by coaches Schubert and Jewell. Minor swimmers who were still being instructed by Ms. Rianda were told that she was going to be fired. The proverbial writing was on the wall.
Having enough of her verbal harassment (Mr. Schuberts term), Mr. Schubert, without first obtaining Board approval, summarily discharged Ms. Rianda from her employment with GWSC on July 11, 2012. Mr. Schubert reported to the other coaches (see attached document entitled Meeting with Mark Schubert prepared by Ms. Peterson) that Ms. Rianda was terminated because there was too much tension on the pool deck. The only known tension between coaches Schubert and Rianda, however, related to Mr. Jewell and Ms. Riandas insistence that he be held accountable for his actions. From Ms. Rianda standpoint, Mr. Schubert steadfastly placed his loyalty and friendship to Mr. Jewell over the safety and welfare of young swimmers and she would not go along with the program. Ms. Rianda refused to compromise her principles and in the end, it cost her the job that she cherished.
H. Post-Termination Communications Between Ms. Rianda and USA Swimming:
Later than month, Ms. Rianda reported the retaliatory firing to USA Swimming. Throughout August of 2012, Ms. Rianda and you exchanged emails concerning the matter and in conjunction therewith a formal complaint for retaliation was lodged.
During the Olympic Games in September of 2012, Ms. Rianda discussed her termination with Mr. Weilgus, who told her ” A coach should not be fired for reporting and doing the right thing in accordance with USA Swimming rules” and apologized for Mr. Schuberts conduct.
In January of 2013, my client contacted USA Swimming for a status on the three (3) investigations. She was told that little if anything had been done.
I. Investigation Performed by Golden West College:
Hopefully your inquiry into these matters will be more extensive than the investigation performed by Golden West College, which did not even bother to contact Ms. Rianda, must less take her statement. Similarly, coaches Peterson, St. Onge and Gracia were not contacted. Perhaps off of a list supplied by Mr. Schubert himself, the College instead seemingly picked and chose to whom it talked. The interview of Mr. Jewell, as he stated in his deposition, lasted a mere ten (10) minutes during which he was asked if he ever did anything improper with children. Not surprisingly, his answer was in the negative. Consequently, coaches Schubert and Jewell were cleared for misconduct (see report by Swimming World on this investigation at http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/USA/32871.asp). The word sham comes to mind when describing whatever was done by this College.
This document should provide you with sufficient understanding as to the totality of the circumstances surrounding Mr. Jewells and Mr. Schuberts actions committed both at FAST and GWSC. USA Swimming continually promotes itself as being the gold standard when it comes to athlete protection. In your own words, USA Swimming is well ahead of the curve compared to other National Governing Bodies in terms of implementing and enforcing rules designed to protect minors from sex abuse and coaches who report violations of these rules. We are hoping that these are not merely hollow words and that USA Swimming will promptly and thoroughly take the appropriate action to ensure that these rules are strictly followed. The proverbial ball is in your court to ensure that immediate action is taken.
In our view, a culture of indifference to the rights of sex abuse victims has firmly cemented its place at USA Swimming headquarters. Starting with this matter, it is incumbent on you as USA Swimmings Safe Sport Director to effect true change to that mentality.
Robert Allard, Esq.