News and Commentary

Grand Jury Investigating USA Swimming Over Sexual Abuse Claims
Mid race butterfly stroke swimming race in a olympic size swimmingpool.
Photo by tomazl/GettyImages

According to The Wall Street Journal, USA Swimming is being investigated by a grand jury based on claims of sexual abuse of swimmers as well as the possibility that the organization may have collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in rebates from its in-house insurance company in a manner that is improper. noted, “The allegations presented in the WSJ article are not new, and have been swirling for years. There have been previous reports of the U.S. Department of Justice and/or the FBI investigating national governing bodies. On the other hand, the WSJ‘s reporting of a grand jury is a new development that we haven’t reported on before.”

The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are involved in the investigation; the Journal notes that swimmers were queried as to whether they were urged to perform sex acts on coaches as a trade-off for in better spots in competition.

USA Swimming recorded net assets of $36.3 million at the end of 2017. According to civil-court filings, disciplinary records and others who are privy to the workings of the the investigation, before the sexual-abuse scandals in USA sports surfaced in 2016 and 2017, when a swimmer felt victimized, they had to submit a formal complaint, which could not be anonymous, to USA Swimming, which would hire an outside investigator to conduct interviews. USA Swimming’s National Board of Review, a body appointed by USA Swimming executives, would conduct a hearing. Prior to that, a supposedly impartial attorney would contact the accuser, but the attorney actually represented USA Swimming. One person privy to the investigation told the Journal, “The system is designed to stop you from wanting to report.”

The Journal noted the possible malfeasance involving USA Swimming:

In 1988, USA Swimming set up a so-called single-parent captive insurance company in Barbados … Any money not spent by the insurance company was returned to USA Swimming in the form of “safety rebates,” dividends that amounted to as much as $750,000, twice a year, according to sworn declarations in federal lawsuits.

The Journal noted that prosecutors are examining whether USA Swimming improperly moved cash to the USA Swimming Foundation, adding, “In the past decade, the foundation’s endowment has tripled, from just under $5 million in 2008 to $18.3 million in 2017, tax records show. In 2011, USA Swimming transferred $5 million to the foundation, records show.” reported that a spokesperson for USA Swimming stated, “There is no validity to the claims about USA Swimming’s financial or business practices and that our financial details and reports have always been reviewed by unaffiliated, third-party auditors and made publicly available on our website. We are confident in our reporting.”

As NBC News reported in 2018, USA Gymnastics was accused by athletes of covering up the sexual abuse scandal involving team doctor Larry Nassar. NBC News reported:

USA Gymnastics tried to silence top athletes after they reported being molested by team doctor Larry Nassar and as they pushed to meet with law enforcement officials, the gymnasts and their family members told NBC News. Claims that the sports federation stressed discretion above all else are bolstered by text messages, emails and other materials reviewed by NBC News during a months-long investigation for a special edition of Dateline that aired Sunday.


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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Grand Jury Investigating USA Swimming Over Sexual Abuse Claims