by Irvin Muchnick
Per capita, the swimming industry is bigger in Australia than in the United States. But that hasn’t stopped a royal commission investigating child sexual abuse Down Under from turning their sights on the sport’s leading national figures – or in recognizing that the crimes there are a watery mirror image of those in the Catholic Church.
See “Royal commission into child sexual abuse shifts focus to swimming coaches,” http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-06/royal-commission-shifts-focus-to-swimming-industry/5573354.
The report notes, “A hearing due to begin in Sydney today will focus on allegations dating from the 1960s to 1980s relating to three swimming coaches abusing children under their care. The commission is expected to hear accusations of indecent dealings against former national women’s coach Scott Volkers.”
The U.S. Congress, which remains seriously behind the curve on this issue, should take note.
It’s worth noting that Volkers has been coaching in Brazil – site of the 2016 Summer Olympics and current most favored haven for fugitives from abuse allegations. Brazil is also where Alex Pussieldi – exposed by Concussion Inc. and then South Florida’s New Times weekly, but still no one else – fled. Brazil is Pussieldi’s native country, and there he has landed a position as the main voice and face of swimming for the SporTV network.
The swimming scandals, like the Catholic Church priest molestation and cover-up story, are global in scope. The first journalist to give this problem full-length attention was Irish writer Justine McCarthy, now with London’s Sunday Times, in her book Deep Deception. Tim Joyce and I are the second, and and we are showing how the criminal leadership of USA Swimming ties directly to the international Olympic Mafia.
The investigative breakthroughs in Australia are yet another sign that our federal government – both executive and legislative branches – needs to stop nibbling away at the edges of these cases, and jump in with serious purpose and focus, for the safety of sports children everywhere.