Monday, December 07, 2009

Australia Swimming's head coach has been accused of "inappropriate behavior" in the wake of a pedophile scandal!

That is Alan Thompson pictured above. He is Swimming Australia's head coach or the Australian counter part to USA Swimming Head Coach, Mark Schubert.

Thompson, has been anonymously accused of unspecified inappropriate behavior and he is stepping down while an investigation takes place.

Ironic attire, huh? he looks like a refugee from Alcatraz!

Ouch! Even I think that was a low blow and I will just have to admit my bias against him for being one of the leading voices to ban tech suits once his swimmers started losing in the LZR.

This all in the wake of the following Swimming Australia scandal. From Adelaide Now:

"... Former Olympic swimming coach and manager Buck, who died in a tractor accident in 2005, was this week accused of abusing a number of Australian swimmers.

The allegations were made by a former Australian swim team captain and Olympic medallist.

He claimed Buck assaulted him repeatedly from the age of 11 until he turned 17.

Police began investigating abuse allegations in 1998, and were handed a list of 29 other alleged victims, including four Olympic swimmers...."


Here is what ABC Sport had to say:

"... He says SA will appoint an independent investigator to examine the allegation.

"It's of a concern enough to all of us that we're going to have a look at it," he said.

"So we're going to appoint someone independent to investigate that allegation. ..."


From the TimesOnline:

After the claim was brought to the attention of Swimming Australia, the board and Thompson agreed mutually that he take personal leave while the matter is investigated.

Now, "in the wake of" scandal I was talking about in the headline is this:

From the daily Telegraph:

"...Mr Neil stressed the action by the board was completely unrelated to revelations by The Daily Telegraph of a cover-up involving the sexual abuse of Olympic swimmers when they were children.

Lawyers with the police force decided not to prosecute allegations from three swimmers that the late Olympic coach Terry Buck, who died in 2005, was responsible for the sexual assault of 29 people. The list included four Olympians, two surfing champions and three people who had committed suicide before police investigations began.


And I smell a rat!

If the allegation is not potentially criminal and Australia Swimming is a national governing body [partially] paid for by Australian tax dollars and a coach is having to step down by way of a "mutual agreement" while being investigated, where is the transparency in that organization? Why is it confidential? If it is nothing illegal, why step down?

Answer: The accusation will really piss a lot people off!

A few days ago I published the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) policy for both age-groupers and parents so as to to protect children from seriously disturbed adults and to protect both coaches and parents from blatantly false allegations. In other words, a process to prevent trouble. I feel USA Swimming needs a policy like this as well.

Here is a link to the post: [Link]


Steve said...

I think the more likely answer would be that Swimming Australia doesn't want to unnecessarily tarnish Thompson's reputation unless the allegations turn out to be true.

Although Swimming Australia does receive some funding from the government, it is not "paid for by Australian tax dollars". A significant amount of its revenue comes from corporate sponsorship and I imagine swim club fees.

Tony Austin said...

I keep thinking everywhere is America! My bad.

I will amend the "paid for by tax dollars" stuff now.

Nonetheless, it is obviously a non-profit and demands transparency.

An allegation that makes a coach step down is probably a serious allegation. they mentioned it was nothing illegal so why step down?