Wednesday, March 16, 2011

FINA & USA Swimming under seige!

Here is my uneducated assessment regarding the two governing body attacks:

USA Swimming,
"wounded" from an antitrust lawsuit with TYR, pending sexual abuse lawsuits, two critical news documentaries, and a national coach dismissal is now having to defend itself from an anonymous group calling itself A Splash of Truth.

This anonymous individual or group who I believe posted to this blog first in the comments section of a blog post I wrote has allegedly disseminated two emails so far to thousand of parents, swimmers and coaches. These emails contain detailed accusations regarding USA Swimming management, unacceptable coaching incidents, deposition details, attorney malfeasance, and more with only a promise to back these accusations with absolute documentation once they release their website.

As for a Splash of Truth: I take this individual or group quite seriously. If their accusations are summarily lies then the integrity of the USA Swimming management will continue on and suffer little, or more likely, no consequence. However, if all of their accusations are true and the information can be double confirmed with police reports, depositions, court filings, specific rulings, then I presume there be more lawsuits, bad press and/or calls for audits, investigations and dismissals by both swimmers and parents.

Regarding the attack on FINA: Next up we have FINA who is going to have to confront a populist campaign to boycott all FINA events and in it's place establish a "new swimming world order." All of this suggested by an organization called the World Swimming Association (WSA). An open letter by a guy name George Block signed his named to poorly written manifesto which can be read over at Swim News.

Where George Block wants to replace a complete governing body, the "Splash of Truth seems more intent on replacing USA Swimming management. If USA Swimming is clean, they should do nothing. If they are dirty, start purging people now and augment or follow existing rules! - I took their emails seriously which leads me to George Block and the World Swimming Association...

My take on George Block's proposed WSA power grab is just that... A power grab! Instead of sending your money to FINA, send it to good ol' George and allow his organization to make up the rules and leverage our talent for both rule control and perhaps money. In his letter he offered nothing that is more, better, or different for the swimmers or swimming at large. I am so unimpressed.

FINA will immediately ban this guy and any swimmer who tries to swim for another organization if he dare calls it a governing body. I do not believe that Block or the WSA has the means to produce a international governing body for the only way it could happen is if he actually paid the swimmers to swim enough money to make it worth foregoing an Olympic career. That is going to take a lot of money - he may have to consider tech suits?

So, you have two battles: one to reform a governing body, the other to replace one. Maybe the swimming governing bodies at large should realize: SWIMMERS AND COACHES ARE PISSED!

UPDATE: I just found out from a reader who politely informed me that the World Swimming Association under George Block is connected to the World Swim Coaches Association (WSCA). Apparently, according to my reader, this organization is affiliated with the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) which run by John Leonard!

to wit: If this is true, we have a sanctioned USA Swimming certification body; (ASCA), connected to a coaching body calling for the replacement and/or destruction of FINA! Is anybody home at USA Swimming?

It is time for USA Swimming to turn to junior colleges, colleges and universities to create varying degree types to certify coaches rather than allowing a singular non-profit who may be affiliated with a group, the World Swimming Association, calling for a FINA "mutiny" to train USA Swimming coaches.

Mutinies should not be tolerated especially when coaches and swim teams are sending money directly to those suggesting a mutiny!


hydroG said...

if you hadn't found this already...

notice this is at which is ASCA, but it is the WSCA web site. notice who is WSCA US Exec Director.

i agree FINA needs major overhaul, but ASCA is not my idea of good replacement as it is run via a unilateral decision making strong arm ...AKA "coach"? Leonard, who has obvious power/control issues.

Tony Austin said...

That was a profound understatement in my opinion.

I hit the link and "Mr. Black Magic" himself, John Leonard, is executive dir.

So, apparently WSA may be a front group for John Leonard.

The plot thickens.

White H20 said...

I'm a little late to the party in that I just read both of Splash's emails. Just about everyone I know in my LSC, including some swimmers, received one of those emails. If 10% of the contents of these accusations are true, especially the information about the offshore insurance, the IRS and elected government representatives need to be contacted. On the George Block/WSA/WSCA...that is, IN FACT, a John Leonard/ASCA operation.

Tony Austin said...

Yes, USA Swimming owns their insurance company and it is incorporated in Barabos and it is a perfectly legal thing for them to do. However, I wonder who is on the board of that beast and collecting a paycheck?

May I ask a favor: My readers are smarter and more informed than I am and you certainly have at least 30-Swimming IQ points higher than mine.

Should George Block have his "FINA Passport" or "FINA Citizenship" or whatever revoked? If so , write me a post and I will put it up.

Anonymous said...

~10 people are on the board of USSIC, and all of them are volunteers.

Tony Austin said...

So, we have a list of volunteers. I believe you. That is good to know. Where is the list?


Dr. Molly Smith said...

Tony, Thank you for all you do! Since you're one of the few people to speak or write about the USA Swimming/ASCA nonsense, I'm sure that USA Swimming is trying to find a way to attack you. I hope that whoever the Splash of Truth is follows through on their website. I am greatly disappointed and saddened that our great sport has been stained by overpaid and opportunistic rats.

Anonymous said...

Nearly all US corporations that are self insured do so in the Carribean - this is a very common practice. Can't tell you a thing about USA Swimming, FINA or any others but thought you should know that this is normal business behavior and not illicit.

hydroG said...

it may be normal practice, but it could still be a very questionable practice. There were many things Enron was doing that were considered legit, but look where that wound up. I would like to see who the CEO and such are with the USSIC. Just because there is a "board of directors" is not sure fire protection from corruption, sometimes it assures it.. better to look at who is on the board? who are they related to? what benefits are they being provided under the table?

Tony Austin said...

As for corporations in Barbados: Yes, they are perfectly legal.

In fact, lots of things are perfectly legal. it's not illegal to have an affair with your secretary but it is still an illicit affair due to the moral obligations of marriage. (The definition of illicit is not solely centered upon just legal jargon. It also involves morals and social customs too.)

So, It is perfectly legal to have a corporation offshore in Barbados that pays little to NO taxes to the United States. But don't you think it is Ironic that USA Swimming; (note the acronym U-S-A), was founded in the US Senate under the Ted Stevens Act but incorporates an insurance company it owns outside the US so as to not pay taxes to the very country that established it.

They also coincidentally incorporated in a location that has a nefarious reputation - why is that?

SO, is this incorporation and illicit endeavor? In my opinion, YES, YES, YES!

Anonymous said...

I'm getting tired of all this "Splash of Truth" talk. I think it's a person or a small group with axes to grind against USA Swimming. They are most likely former insiders and now because they were pushed out, they want to drag others into the mud. If these allegations are true then they should have spoken out when they were on the inside and could have made a difference.

Either post the proof and let's clean house or shut up and go away. All this stirring the pot is not helping improve our organization or country for that matter.

Tony Austin said...

"...not helping our country?" I think that that is a bit hyperbolic. I think USA Swimming is "hurting" our country more by possibly using tax shelters in Barabos.

Anonymous said...

" I think USA Swimming is hurting our country more by possibly using tax shelters in Barabos."

I agree with Anonymous above. Show definite proof ("not possibly") and then let's clean house.

-Swimmer Dan

Tony Austin said...

Everybody agrees that they have to show proof.

Anonymous said...

Does USA Swimming have a whistleblowers policy?

Anonymous said...

USA swimming only has a whistle blower policy against the reporting of sexual misconduct. There is no written protection against reporting other unethical and or code of conduct violations.

There is definite retaliation against swimmers whose parents report unethical actions. Most people willl not get involved. Unfortunately, some of the violators also work in the local schools. Swimmers can change club teams but cannot change schools so the silence continues which allows the continued bad behavior.

hydroG said...

they have many ways of manipulating those on the inside.

I find it funny that an anonymous post here demands that others stop posting anonymously.

...that's rich! i never take anonymous to serious, however tattletales and whistle blowers often have much truth in what they say, and they are frequently 'shady' characters.

the ones i question are those who make aggressive efforts to stop those who have information to share.

Tony Austin said...

I think that statement is practically demonstrable from Gary Hall being punished by being removed form a relay in Athens 2004, to Mike Saltzstein removed from on deck officiating, to Mark Schubert and and his athlete compensation. ALl of them hammered! That is my opinion.

Anonymous said...

From the USA Swimming Website

Whistle Blower Protection Policy:

USA Swimming forbids any form of retaliation against individuals for providing truthful information to a law enforcement official relating to actual or potential unlawful conduct. Such actions can result in immediate termination. The audit committee will establish procedures for handling complaints, including anonymous ones, about accounting and financial matters.

Anonymous said...

I just sent a message regarding Whistle Blower-----Please make sure it's anonymous.


Tony Austin said...

No retaliation? I cannot believe you wrote that with a straight face.

Mike Saltzstein was removed as an official in violation of the Amateur Sports Act for what the arbitrator deemed as arbitrary and capricious.

See this ESPN article:

Please don't suggest that USA Swimming would never be arbitrary and capricious.

Anonymous said...

I was responding to a previous comment asking if USA Swimming had a whistle blowers policy.

Yes, there is a policy.

Do I believe retaliation occurs - ABSOLUTELY!!! (In fact, I have first hand knowledge)

Anonymous said...

looks like the splashes' website has some content now. How is this person getting all these depositions?

Tony Austin said...

I saw that, tonight I read Chuck's depo... I was afraid to blog that it was up because ill I read a depo.

OK, they were asked to submit the proof, and now it is time to see what they have!

Anonymous said...

weird that the USS scandal website and your post have the exact same vendetta picture

Tony Austin said...

Type in "anonymous mask" at Google.
Type in "anonymous mask" at Amazon.
Type in "anonymous mask" at You Tube.

The "anonymous meme" started well before I used it on my site. As you know it started in a comic book by Alan Moore called "V for Vendetta", and then 4Chan co-opted it before moving to the headless silhouette, then they were all over the Scientology protests, last in line was my blog, and then Anonymous.

Finally, look at their website design. Now, look at my personal site and the design work I do to make a very solid living:

So, with all that said, are you hinting that I may be involved?

Sarah G said...

George Block, former NISD Aquatics director convinced the school district and the county to build a $14M San Antonio National Aquatics Center.
Final approval for constuction begins in July. The school swimmers compete in 25 yard pools, and the county already has a pool suitable for national and regional competitions at Palo Alto College. I was wondering who would use this pool, but after finding this post, I think I know.