PHOENIX, Arizona, September 19. RICK Curl waived his right last month to have a disciplinary hearing in the wake of revelations that he had a sexual affair with an underage swimmer on his team in the 1980s. By waiving that hearing, as well as a National Board of Review hearing, Curl has now been placed on the USA Swimming banned for life list, ending a career that included putting nearly a dozen swimmers on the Olympic team and founding Curl-Burke Swim Club, one of the most prominent teams in the country.
After these allegations came to light, the Curl-Burke Swim Club's name changed to simply CUBU about a month ago, but yesterday the team announced another name change. The club will now be called Nation's Capital Swim Club, and will be led by Thomas Ugast as CEO. The coaching staff will remain the same there, led by head coach Pete Morgan and Yuri Sugiyama, who guided Katie Ledecky to gold in the 800 free at the London Olympics.
USA Swimming has released a fuller response to the Mark Schubert lawsuit, saying there was never a cover-up in any instance regarding sexual misconduct by a coach, and if Schubert was aware of any misconduct, he was required to report it to USA Swimming. USA Swimming is not under attack in the Schubert lawsuit, which claims he wrongfully terminated Golden West Swim Club assistant coach Dia Rianda after she accused another coach, Bill Jewell, of improper conduct around swimmers.
Over in Australia, a couple of female members of the Olympic swim team have come forward with their recollections of various activities during training camp before the London Games. Libby Trickett and Melanie Schlanger said on an Australian TV talk show yesterday that they are angered that Swimming Australia has not taken action against the members of the men's 400 free relay, who made prank calls and woke up coaches and swimmers in the middle of the night. The acts divided the team, which could have contributed to the overall poor showing in London. Swimming Australia is in the middle of a review by an independent panel to look into the matter further, a review that is said to call on all swimmers on the Australian team to submit their thoughts on team unity and performance in London.
Let's end today's show on a high note ... And now that we've done that, we've got some good news to end the show, coming from Paralympian Jessica Long. The 20-year-old has found her birth parents, who gave her up for adoption after she was born in Russia. Long made it known she was interested in finding her birth parents, and a Russian journalist did all the work for her, locating Natalia and Oleg Valtyshev in Siberia. Natalia said she was "scared" about raising a daughter who had been born without the crucial fibula bone in her legs, leaving her at a hospital to be adopted 13 months later by an American couple, Beth and Steve Long. Long said she was looking to reunite with her parents some time next year, opting to meet them for the first time in person instead over Skype.