Open letter calls on USA Swimming to end “culture of sexual abuse”

Inside the Games

July 1, 2020

By Neil Shefferd

An open letter, released on behalf of six victims, has called on USA Swimming to “dismantle” a culture of sexual abuse within the organisation.

The letter, delivered to USA Swimming chief executive Tim Hinchey yesterday, has called on the organisation to take action to what it describes as an “epidemic” of sexual abuse within the governing body.

The letter, written on behalf of six victims by their attorney Robert Allard, includes the names of eight individuals, who the victims say should be immediately removed from USA Swimming.

An extract from the letter reads: “Having been deeply involved in the handling of sex abuse claims against USA Swimming for more than a decade, it is clear to us that there remains a deeply embedded culture within your organisation which condones the criminal sexual behaviour of coaches towards its underage athletes.

“This culture is similar to that of the Catholic Church, where a long-standing unofficial code enabled rampant sexual abuse by punishing those who report and rewarding those who remain silent. This must end, and it must end now.”

Last month six women filed lawsuits alleging that USA Swimming failed to protect them from sexual abuse from coaches Mitch Ivey, Everett Uchiyama and Andy King.

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