British Swimming Conducting Investigation into Bully Allegations Against Sweetenham -- September 21, 2005
LONDON, September 21. IN light of an article that ran in the August 23rd edition of The London Times, British Swimming has initiated an independent investigation into allegations that swimmers had been bullied by Bill Sweetenham, the National Performance Director. In an article written by Matthew Syed, some British swimmers accused Sweetenham of bully tactics.
After that article was released, a contradictory piece appeared where swimmers defended Sweetenham. As the top man in British Swimming, Sweetenham has been demanding of his athletes. Some of the swimmers have viewed his approach as bullying while others have indicated that Sweetenham is simply attempting to build British swimming into a worldwide power.
"The allegations made in The Times are new to us within British Swimming as I explained to the author of the article Mathew Syed when asked to comment," said Chief Executive David Sparkes. "However, in keeping with swimming's policy of openness, we are undertaking an independent investigation with a view to determining the facts and any issues we need to address.
"Having spoken to Mr. Sweetenham and ascertained his version of events, and in accordance with normal procedures, an independent investigation into these allegations has been started. We hope this investigation will establish the facts of the matter and nothing else. Prior to the articles in The Times, British Swimming had no knowledge of the incidents referred to.”