German London Olympic Swim Coach in Court: Accused of Sexual Abuse

By Steven Selthoffer, Swimming World Chief European Columnist

KIEL, Germany, August 14. DISTRICT Court papers reveal today that a German Olympic swim coach is facing 18 counts of sexual misconduct with a minor between August, 2004 through March, 2006. If convicted the 40-year-old coach could face a jail term of up to four years. The accusations stem from a 2004 training camp in Crete.

Due to German privacy laws, the coach's name and the name of the woman are being withheld by the court at this time. The coach and his attorney have not been available for comment.

“He should have informed us about the process (resulting in the fact that the coach would have been sent home immediately from the London Games.) We must wait now to see how the court decides,” German Olympic Sports Director General Michael Vesper said.

“It's a total surprise (of the sexual abuse charges coming on the heels of London 2012),” German Swimming Federation General Secretary Jurgen Fornoff said.

Fornoff is already facing a growing outcry from the swimming performance in London, with the German team winning no medals in the pool, its worst showing and performance since 1932. The Germans earned one silver medal in swimming, in the men's 10K open water event, with a strong performance by pre-race favorite, Thomas Lurz who finished second to Tunisia's Ous Mellouli.

The Olympic coach in question had previously signed a Code of Conduct Letter required by all athletes and London Olympic staff members prior to attending the Games.

Note: This story is translated directly from the original German sources. We apologize in advance for any errors or misunderstandings. Thank you.

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