by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
Alert to Greyhound drivers across the country: watch out for the bodies USA Swimming is throwing under your front wheels. With Congressional investigators bearing down on the sport’s cover-up of sex abusers — some of them big-name coaches — the national governing body belatedly is springing into action to clear its decks of mostly little-known offenders with pending cases in several areas.
The latest addition to the banned list is James Pantera, a former federal convict and long-time con man whose fraudulent attempt to start a new USA Swimming club in San Diego was exposed nine months ago by Mike Saltzstein, a former board member who is now a leading critic of the organization’s public relations-driven “safe sport” afterthoughts.
The real lesson of Pantera is the shoddiness of the background check system swimming has hyped since 2006. Another who slid past was monster molester Andy King — now spending the rest of his life in a California prison. USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus not only never has explained King’s clean bill of health in his background check; Wielgus has lied about the multiple complaints of King’s misconduct over the years, and the secret file the group maintained on him, as he bounced back and forth from California to Washington State.
Here are complete links to our Pantera coverage: