Cecil Russell, the swim coach at Cardinal Gibbons and Fort Lauderdale Swim Team since May 1997, has been banned from coaching in the United States. Russell, 45, banned from coaching for life in Canada for distributing anabolic steroids, was told by U.S. Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus that the U.S. federation is adhering to the ban.
According to FINA, a sanction imposed by any member must be recognized by all. "If Russell is banned for life by the Canadian federation, we are obligated to respect that ban…," Wielgus said. "He is not allowed to be associated with swimming."
Russell, who removed himself from his FLST age-group coaching duties Monday after a team meeting at the International Swimming Hall of Fame, is to appeal the ban by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport at an Aug. 19-20 civil court hearing in Ontario.
According to a seven-page case review hearing report, "upon a thorough review of the evidence filed, the board is satisfied that Mr. Russell conspired to import, and through his home and place of business supplied, possessed and sold, banned substances," Russell's attorney, Jeffrey Schroeder, said Russell was arrested and convicted of conspiring "to traffic controlled drug (anabolic steroid) between Feb. 1, 1993 and Sept. 6, 1995" under the Food and Drug Act and the Criminal Code of Canada. He was detained until the case was settled and received a suspended sentence.