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Linda Goldston and “Swim leaders failed to act”

Of course we will all know about this if it ever comes up again, but for now no action should be taken by anyone to let anyone know about this. 

It is very important that we do nothing, or else Pacific Swimming will be at risk.  (!!!-exclamation marks are not part of the email, I added them.)

(An e-mail from a San Jose lawsuit shows Clint Benton, general chairman of Pacific Swimming , telling his associates about a 2003 complaint regarding an alledged sexual harassment by coach Andrew King.)

I talked with Linda on the phone today and received permission to quote extensive part of an article she wrote.  She can be reached at lgoldston@mercurynews,com.  She wrote an article with the above title.

Andrew King , former 2003 Western Team head coach for USA Swimming, was promoted and named 2003 Western Team head coach in spite of an amazing litany of complaints and evidence that marked him a sexual violence predator and severe verbal abuser.  He was arrested years later in San Jose, CA for molesting a young girl.

Just hear if you can, the avoidance and denial of the truth, the cost to the girls, the skewed value system that put swim team competition ahead of valuing the lives of these girls:

“New internal documents unearthed as part of a major lawsuit against USA Swimming show the national organization’s top officials received at least two abuse complaints  about swim coach Andrew King before he was arrested in San Jose..

they failed to investigate the claims– and urged one of them to remain confidential. (iatalics mine)

An official from USA Swimming’sn West Coast branch, Pacific swimming, had previoulsy acknowledged receiving an e-mail saying king had verbally berated swimmers and sexually harassed them…but told the Mercury News it had been lost.  But, a copy of swimmer Katie Kelly’s 2003 letter turned up on file at USA Swimming headquarters in Colorado springs–stuck to the back of another file, legal counsel for the organization now says.  (!!!)

The emails show USA Swimming’s executive director advised Pacific Swimming that it would open a file on king but in fact did not do so because no formal complaint was filed.  “This matter should be kept confidential by both you and us.  (Hello, what was he thinking?  Is this a perfect example of the Code of Silence we are immersed in  or what?)

“It is very important that we do nothing, or else Pacific Swimming will be at risk.”

…the country’s top competitive swimming organization worked harder to protect the sport’s image than to protect its young swimmers.

…a lawsuit is exposing a larger scandal than even those callihng the loudest for reforms ever suspected.

In her lengthy, Jan. 20, 2003, e-mail to the west coast division, Kelly described her experience as a swimmer for king 10 years earlier.  She said she “was shaking as I type,” and called King  “a terribly abusive coach “who had made female swimmers kiss the males in front of the team before practice.  If they didn’t, the whole team had to swim extra laps.  The length of the required kiss was 30 seconds and timed with a stopwatch.

Next time I will just do a bit more on this scandal.  God help us

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