Michael Pliuskaitis Second Named to USA Swimming Banned For Life List in 2013

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, February 16. YESTERDAY, USA Swimming added a second name to its Banned for Life list as Michael Pliuskaitis was banned from membership in the organization.

The ban lists four separate code of conduct violations including 304.3.5, 304.3.7, 304.3.4 and 304.3.8, and the timing of the versions of each of these code of conduct violations lends itself towards sexual misconduct that occurred during a two-year period of time.

304.3.5 — 2010 Version
304.3.5 Any sexual conduct, advance or other inappropriate sexually oriented behavior or action directed towards an athlete by (i) a coach member or other non-athlete member, or (ii) any other adult participating in any capacity whatsoever in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming (whether such adult is a member or not). Any nonconsensual physical sexual conduct, or pattern of unwelcome advances or other sexual harassment in connection with or incidental to a USA Swimming-related activity by any person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming (whether such person is a member or not) directed toward any member or other person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming.

304.3.7 — 2011 Version
304.3.7 Any sexual conduct, advance or other inappropriate sexually oriented behavior or action directed towards an athlete by (i) a coach member or other non-athlete member, or (ii) any other adult participating in any capacity whatsoever in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming (whether such adult is a member or not). Any nonconsensual physical sexual conduct, or pattern of unwelcome advances or other sexual harassment in connection with or incidental to a USA Swimming-related activity by any person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming (whether such person is a member or not) directed toward any member or other person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming.

304.3.4 — 2011, 2012 Version
305.3.4 Violation of any of the Athlete Protection Policies set forth in Article 305

304.3.8 — 2012 Version
304.3.8 Any inappropriate sexual conduct or advance, or other oral, written, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed towards an athlete by (i) a coach member or other non-athlete member, or (ii) any other adult participating in any capacity whatsoever in the activities of USA Swimming (whether such adult is a member or not). Any act of sexual harassment, including without limitation unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature in connection with or incidental to a USA Swimming-related activity by any person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming (whether such person is a member or not) directed toward any member or other person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming.

Pliuskaitis' ban dates back to Aug. 6, 2012, however he was just added this month. Pliuskaitis was banned by the National Board of Review on Aug. 6, and the appeals board heard a full appeals process before denying the appeal. Other Banned List additions typically occur much faster as banned members have typically waived their appeal.

Pluiskaitis has been a major figure at Snow Swimming in Virginia as the head coach, and has been in a battle for control of the club in the past year. Pliuskaitis initially served as an assistant coach under Paul Bergen when the club was initially called Sunset. When Bergen left the club, Pliuskaitis founded Snow. Currently, Pliuskaitis is no longer listed on the coaching staff at Snow, while his ex-wife Teresa is listed as the owner, president and founder of the club 14 years ago.

One notable swimmer to have come from Snow is U.S. Olympian Matt McLean, who swam at the club as an age grouper. When contacted directly by Swimming World, McLean stated that he was shocked and dismayed upon hearing of the situation. McLean has not been coached by Pliuskaitis since leaving Snow in 2005, and has not actively been part of Snow since then. He has chosen to pay tribute to his original club team by retaining Snow representation at USA Swimming meets at times during his career.

“I'm completely shocked and sick to my stomach over this,” McLean told Swimming World. “I had no idea that this situation existed, and have had little involvement with Snow and Pliuskaitis since I ceased training there during high school other than wearing a Snow cap during meets to honor my age group training. It is a shock because it seems entirely contrary to anything I could have foreseen coming.”

The ban is the second this year as Noah Rucker was added at the first of the month.

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Author: Archive Team

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