USA Swimming Got SwimSwam.com ‘News’ Site to Censor a Story on FBI Investigations

Published May 25th, 2014, Uncategorized

by Irvin Muchnick

 

The semi-captive swimming industry news site SwimSwam.com recently published – then, at the behest of USA Swimming, almost immediately withdrew – a story about Federal Bureau of Investigation probes of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s national sport governing body. The article was largely or entirely based on reports at Concussion Inc.

On May 14, SwimSwam writer Jared Anderson emailed me to solicit information on Tim Joyce’s and my sources for the coverage of the FBI and insurance issues, which Anderson called “the most important subject in our reporting field at this point.”

I declined SwimSwam’s invitation and told Anderson that everything we had to say publicly about FBI investigations was in our published articles.

At the time, I thought little about another remark in Anderson’s email: “We published a story ourselves recently that brought on some push back from USA Swimming …”

Searching for the SwimSwam article in the ensuing days, I could not find it. Two sources then clarified that the “pushback” to which Anderson referred was USA Swimming censorship. The Colorado Springs apparatchiks had demanded that SwimSwam pull the article, and the publication had complied.

In an email last Friday, Braden Keith, one of SwimSwam’s co-founders and chief editors, said, “No article on the subject of USA Swimming and the FBI has been written by Jared Anderson.” However, Keith did not respond to the question of whether Anderson or anyone else at SwimSwam had published an article there on this subject, which was quickly withdrawn and buried following “pushback.” After asking me to call him, Keith did not return a voicemail and a follow-up email.

So readers can draw their own conclusions.

In the meantime, this is an opportunity to review everything Tim and I have written about USA Swimming and the FBI. It’s a subject you’ll only be hearing more about in coming weeks.

On January 31, 2013, we reported that Randall Devine, an FBI special agent in Los Angeles, was soliciting information from sexual abuse victims in all amateur sports. See https://concussioninc.net/?p=6635.

On February 21, 2013, we reported that the FBI office in Campbell, California, just outside San Jose, was investigating the full narrative surrounding the abusive practices of a former swim coach named Norm Havercroft. USA Swimming had been withholding what is believed to be thousands of pages of discovery documents in abuse civil lawsuits in California; after gladly paying tens of thousands of dollars in sanctions by lower courts, the organization was finally compelled by the California Supreme Court to produce all the pertinent files. Those records, submitted under seal to Santa Clara Superior Court, were subpoenaed by the FBI. See https://concussioninc.net/?p=6813.

On May 31, 2013, we reported that USA Swimming vice president David Berkoff – a key participant in the quarter-century-long cover-up of now-imprisoned coach Rick Curl’s statutory rapes of early-teen swimmer Kelley Davies Currin – told the court that he was closely following our coverage, about which he complained on incoherent grounds. See https://concussioninc.net/?p=7623.

On April 1, 2014, we reported on the 2008 arrest, in an Internet child-porn prosecution coordinated by the FBI’s North Miami office, of Roberto Caragol, a swim coach at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale. Since Caragol was an associate of Alex Pussieldi (coverage of whom is all over these pages), we wondered why the FBI did not connect those dots. See https://concussioninc.net/?p=8922.

On April 26, 2014, we reported that the FBI was investigating issues of irregularities and fraud in the management of insurance claims by USOC sport governing bodies. Our sources said the federal investigators were focusing on US Speedskating and USA Swimming. See https://concussioninc.net/?p=9053.

On April 29, 2014, we reported that the FBI North Miami office had been tipped to the abusive conduct of Alex Pussieldi many years ago. https://concussioninc.net/?p=9061.

On the Caragol-Pussieldi item, Concussion Inc. is planning to submit a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI for the records of the 2008 Caragol prosecution. That is a closed criminal case: Caragol, who confessed to distributing child pornography on the Internet and to molesting both girl and boy swimmers on his watch, is doing time in federal prison in Miami.