FBI Investigating USA Swimming On Abuse & Financial Allegations, WSJ Reports

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Federal Prosecutors Investigating USA Swimming, WSJ reports

Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating USA Swimming, at the heart of inquiry allegations that the organisation stifled athlete sexual-abuse claims, concealed its assets and improperly reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars in rebates from its in-house insurance company, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

A spokeswoman for USA Swimming told the newspaper that the federation “supports any government investigation that goes toward protecting athletes”. USA Swimming was confident in the integrity of its finances and tax filings, including for the foundation and the insurance company, which is now defunct, the spokeswoman added.

According to sources cited by the WSJ, USA Swimming has not yet been contacted by federal authorities in New York.

The WSJ’s exclusive reports that a federal grand jury in Manhattan has heard evidence in the investigation over the past year. Inquiries are being led by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Agents and prosecutors are said to be focusing on what WSJ sources described as “the money trail” between USA Swimming and the organisation’s insurance company and its affiliated USA Swimming Foundation, whose  board includes officials who were in office when some of the events at the heart of allegations are claimed to have taken place. Foundation ambassadors include a large shoal of former and current Olympic and World champions and major podium placers for the USA.

Sexual-abuse scandals form a part of the investigations. Last year, current USA Swimming President Tim Hinchey testified with other witnesses before the House Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on the subject of whether Olympic governance bodies were fit for purpose when it came to their ability to protect athletes from sexual abuse.

The U.S. Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service are currently pursuing a multi-pronged investigation into alleged sexual abuse, business misconduct and possible tax violations in Olympic sports organisations in general, The Wall Street Journal reported last month.

USA Swimming is also under scrutiny, the WSJ now reports, from prosecutors from the Justice Department’s money-laundering and child-exploitation units, as well as the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C..

Prosecutors have asked “whether swimmers and other athletes felt pressured to perform sex acts on coaches in exchange for favorable spots in competition, in the U.S. and overseas”, the WSJ reports

7 comments

  1. avatar
    erik

    WSJ link goes to USA Swimming..

  2. Kyle Cowan

    Clean it up USA swimming!

  3. avatar
    O

    It’s about time

  4. avatar
    Anne Martin

    Is there any other way to read the WSJ story without having to sign up for a subscription?

    • avatar
      Craig Lord

      I think you get one free view of a full article before being asked to subscribe… but you have to use a different IP address (a work computer or get a friend to click on the link etc) for that to work if you’ve clicked on anything at the WSJ within the past X weeks/months (not sure what their parameters are).

  5. Mike McHenry

    BOOM! Bout time, but Im sure theyll try to spin it just like USAG