USA Swimming Ignored Andy King Sexual Abuse Complaint According to E-mail Documentation

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, June 28. OVER the weekend, the San Jose Mercury News disclosed documentation showing that USA Swimming elected to ignore a sexual abuse complaint against Andy King as early as 2003. King is a former coach of San Jose Aquatics who has been convicted and sentenced to prison for 40 years after molesting at least four girls during the course of 30 years.

The San Jose Mercury News reported this weekend that one of King's former swimmers, Katie Kelly, informed USA Swimming on Jan. 20, 2003, of her issues with King while at Chabot College in Hayward, Calif., in the early 1990s. In her complaint to USA Swimming, Kelly explained:

King [was] "a terribly abusive coach" who had made female swimmers kiss the males in front of the team before practice. If they didn't, the whole team had to swim extra laps. "Andy timed it with a stop watch, because the rule was I had to kiss this person for 30 seconds," she wrote.

She later stated in the same e-mail that she was "writing not to lodge a formal complaint, because perhaps too much time has gone by," according to USA Swimming.

Just a week later, on Jan. 27, 2003, USA Swimming's executive director Chuck Wielgus wrote a return e-mail, as shown in the image on the right, with the following information:

Here is our counsel:

"1. No formal complaint is being filed, so there is no formal action for you or us to take.

"2. You should monitor the situation and alert us if any new information comes forward.

"3. USA Swimming will open a file on this matter and while we will take no action at this time, we will remain alert for any new information.

"4. This matter should be kept confidential by both you and us.

"5. When and if any new information comes forward, we will assess the situation at that time and determine if any action is required."

This evidence directly contradicts Wielgus' claim during an interview with ESPN's Outside the Lines in April 2010 that USA Swimming did not hear anything about King until April of 2009.

"It's hard to point a finger at a victim, but victims have got to report these crimes," Wielgus said on ESPN's Outside the Lines in April 2010. "And, we didn't hear about Andy King until April of 2009."

Swimming World has requested comment from USA Swimming, but has not yet received a response.

For complete coverage of the e-mail, read the San Jose Mercury News article.