by Irvin Muchnick
Concussion Inc. has been reporting that Alex Pussieldi “retired” from coaching last year just as he was being suspended by Florida Gold Coast Swimming, USA Swimming’s regional affiliate, for many violations of rules involving the use of imported swimmers.
The document of the December 2013 final ruling is now viewable at http://muchnick.net/pussieldisuspension.pdf. The review board cited 355 violations, docked Pussieldi and Davie Nadadores partner Tomas Victoria $17,750 in fines, and ordered the two coaches indefinitely suspended.
The scary part is that Pussieldi appears to be eligible for reinstatement a year after full payment of the fines of $50 per technical violation in 2011.
And there’s another scary aspect of this administrative prosecution: it has nothing to do with sexual abuses, though it surely exposes the mechanism which could have facilitated them. The Florida Gold Coast action is the equivalent of busting Capone for tax evasion. The gist of the charges is that Pussieldi pushed swimmers from his “Caribbean pipeline” into meet entries for his Florida club before they were eligible for attachment. The process betrays the corner-cutting that gave Pussieldi a competitive edge over conventionally structured local clubs, but it also hints at the profiteering, if not the darker practices, behind this cross-border traffic in athletic flesh.
“You have made allegations regarding improper or illegal conduct allegedly committed by Alex Pussieldi,” his lawyer wrote to me, threateningly, on March 20.
Yes, I have.