Barrett and Swimming World Prevail in Katinka Hosszu Lawsuit Appeal

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Olympic swimmer Katinka Hosszu against Sports Publications International, Swimming World Magazine and writer/commentator Casey Barrett.

Hosszu filed a defamation suit based on an opinion piece written by Barrett in May of 2015 that questioned Hosszu’s performances.  Hosszu’s suit was dismissed by the Arizona District Court on August 12, 2016 on the basis of free speech protections extended to commenters under the First Amendment.  Hosszu appealed that ruling.  Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld and affirmed the dismissal of Hosszu’s Complaint, in a 2-1 majority opinion, concluding that Barrett’s statements were his opinion on matters of public concern that do not contain or imply a provable factual assertion.


  1. Amy McLeod DeGarady

    In my opinion, the only thing Barrett did by writing this article about Hosszú was diminish any credibility he may have had. He went after what he felt was an easy target and good job Katinka for fighting back. The comparison of Katinka Hosszú’s performance to an experience at a strip club was misogynistic and disgusting. Until this “writer” has some PROOF, he should crawl back under his rock and take his opinions with him.

    • avatar

      These days, articles like this are called fake news.

    • avatar
      Istvan Lippai, PhD

      The biased coverage is disgusting and shows why the media is despised, not trusted. The “opinion” copout shows that the US judicial system is just as biased as the German judicial system when Hungarian girls are stabbed and degraded.
      Katinka dominated the 2017 European short course championships, entering 6 events, winning every one of them. Imagine the media frenzy if it were a US, Swedish or British swimmer

  2. Aleksandar Tasic

    Can you write a commentary about questioning whether Ladecky is clean. After all, similar type dominant performances in other endurance sports have been proven under influence and use of PEDs. Lets get a bit balanced. If you are going to write like that about foreign athletes, look at your own first. Lance Armstrong and USPS, remember that one? I figured you do.

    • avatar

      Are you kidding me? You can’t compare Ledecky to Hosszu.

      One was a teenage phenom who had already won a gold medal at 15. The other had worked with some of the best coaches in the world and, after college, had some ridiculous time drops and far-from-normal patterns of improvement.

      Sure, Barrett needs facts, but his thinking is pretty logical.

    • avatar
      Istvan Lippai, PhD

      They call this gutter journalism and gutter journalist