USA SWIMMING ABUSE SCANDAL

USA Gymnastics may not be the only Olympic organization that has a systemic problem with sexual abuse.

A lengthy investigative report published in the Orange County Register says that USA Swimming (the governing body over US swimming) ignored or covered up hundreds of sexual abuse cases over the course of decades--even as scores of coaches were arrested for their acts against kids.

The report, which used police reports, court documents and internal USA Swimming communications, found that since 1997 at least 252 USA Swimming coaches and officials were arrested or disciplined for sexual misconduct against at least 590 victims  

In four of the past six years, “at least 20 swim coaches have been arrested, charged or convicted for various.... sex crimes , child pornography to secretly videotaping underage swimmers in locker-rooms,” 

At least 30 USA swim coaches or officials have been “flagged” by USA Swimming after being accused of or arrested for sexual abuse or child pornography by law enforcement. 

Most of the coaches and officials on the flagged list were able to continue working in the swim world. 

Some officials were not banned from the sport even after they had been convicted of felonies. 

Over the years, USA Swimming has been quick to spend money to settle sexual abuse cases before they can hit the public radar.  Between 2006 and 2016, USA Swimming spent $7,450,000 on legal fees.  It’s not clear how much of that money was spent to settle sexual abuse cases

The associations long time executive director Chuck Wielgus said in depositions he didn't take the warnings seriously..

Wielgus, who died of colon cancer last year, admitted in 2010 that he failed to protect swimmers.  He said, "I wish my eyes had been more open to the individual stories of the horrors of sexual abuse."

USA Swimming did not respond to questions from the Orange County Register.

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