Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ian Thorpe still chased by sexual preference questions - Poor guy!

Ian Thorpe has written a book and while on the book tour he has been asked quite often what his sexual preference is. This is bothering him and no matter how many times he definitively answers that he is not gay, his answer is not accepted.

From Yahoo News:
"The thing I find hurtful about it is people are questioning my integrity and what I say... that this is something that I would be embarrassed about, or I would hide," he said in an interview with ABC TV. 
"I don't want to offend anyone, whether they're friends that are gay or whatever else, by getting angry about it, frustrated about it. 
"The only part of it I find frustrating is that people think I'm lying." The five-times Olympic champion said speculation that he was gay had perhaps arisen because he did not fit into the stereotypical idea of how a successful Australian athlete should behave. ..."

I don't care that Ian Thorpe is straight. Simply accept Thorpe's answer and move on. My take on outing "gay" people is that it is like a reverse "witch hunt." I mean, not to be crass, because I can be, but "outing" a gay is like having a surprise party at Carnegie Hall for somebody who has stage fright! - like they are going to be thankful right?

My gay friends have a differing opinions on this: One is an art director, another is film director, one does hair, the other one is a vice president at an entertainment company.

These acquaintances tell me they are mostly FOR the "outing" of gay men and women even though they do have reservations about it.  History is filled with tragic examples of those who were "outed" and ended up losing their jobs, being rejected by their families, bullied, etc. etc. The consensus from these acquaintances for "outing" closeted gays is that it reveals that good people can be "gay" and that no one should be defined by who they are attracted to. In other words, there is safety in numbers and the more gay people that are revealed, the safer the individual gay will be because their "tribe" will be recognized.

The Ian Thorpe bio, This is Me, book can be found here: [Link]

Boy Scouts host anti-abuse forum but the press is not invited on a specific day of the event - Only those organizations with issues are asked to come!

[UPDATED for grammar fixes and to shorten the length.]

When I read the purpose of the symposium it sounds awesome, but when I read the Associated Press article all the way through to the end, I found that it rang a shrill Orwellian tone. That is to say, the forum seemingly states one purpose but probably is selling something else. Orwell called it "doublespeak."

Look at this gem:

"... The session on information-sharing will be led by Suzanna Tiapula, director of the National District Attorneys Association's National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse. She said the youth organizations needed to be wary of reports that appeared false or vindictive, but should be working on ways to share with other youth groups any information deemed serious enough to report to law enforcement. ..."

What do they mean by the sharing of information? It sounds like a consortium of youth organizations putting together a union of sorts to figure out effective ways to either set up secret blacklists or to network and realize the exact procedures to cover their "bums" in a potential lawsuit.

I say that because of the cleverly worded phrase: "... but should be working on ways to share with other youth groups any information deemed serious enough to report to law enforcement." That's double-speak! Why does it have to be shared? What does she mean by "...what is deemed serious enough to report to law enforcement?" If a person complains of sexual abuse and has provided the time, place, and deed then why does that incident have to be shared or qualified with a non-related youth organization? Why must they compare notes?
Here is another red flag:

Michael Johnson, a former police detective hired by the Scouts in 2010 as national director of youth protection, has been the key organizer of the symposium, calling it a "groundbreaking opportunity" for groups serving more than 17 million youngsters to discuss their shared challenges and anti-abuse strategies. 

First off he is not a police detective anymore and he is obviously using that resume item to give himself the "street cred" to teach each organization what the police need and want and how not to implicate yourself or your organization in a police report for any mistakes you have made. That is what I suspect.

They have a Thursday session that will gate-guarded from the press so that these invited organizations can ask questions like this privately. Yep! Send out the press release with carefully measured phrases but don't invite the press. (One gets the aroma of three-day-old fish don't you think?)

So, what does this symposium have to hide from the press?

Here is the response:

"... Tiapula expressed regret that Thursday's symposium will be closed to the news media. "It creates a sense there are things in the community that they can't be sharing," she said. 
"An open meeting conveys to the world they're doing the right thing..." 
However, Johnson and Haney [the former cop and doctor] said the closed-door policy was expected to encourage candid dialogue. Were the meeting to be open, Haney said, attorneys for the youth organizations might counsel participants to be cautious about discussing problems they face with youth-protection.

In my opinion, Mr Haney's pants are on fire. (Dr. Michael Haney of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) - it appears that they make their money primarily from educational and consulting services to professional organizations. [Link])

APSAC is suppose to be a transparent educational resource yet they are encouraging and endorsing a non-transparent dialog with lawyers of all people so as to educate them about what?

That last sentence is so carefully parsed and so dangerous that moving forward I am wholly suspect of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. 

I suspect that Thursday session is  closed because all the organizations therein have ghosts, skeletons and zombies in the closet! And I suspect they will want to ask point blank questions as to how to avoid lawsuits about these problems? How to bring it to the cops before the lawyers do? how to talk to the press? What "scripts" do they memorize when called into a deposition or when interviewed by police rather than how to pick up the phone and dial the police and let them sort it out.

I suspect these people will provide all of the above in private and all each organization will write them a large check. If this was a for real child protection summit, I am sure that the FBI or their local police could have provided the same information at a lower cost.

This event smells "fishy" and the way I read it even Associated Press is suspicious. Read it too and tell me what you think?

Speedo has a new boss... and so does Calvin Klein, Tom Hilfiger and more...

Speedo is owned by a publicly traded company called Warnaco. They just got bought for $2.9-billion by the PVH Corporation. Warnaco owns such companies as Van Huesen, IZOD, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein licensing, Speedo, Chaps, Olga...

The key news for swimmers is that PVH did not buy Warnaco for swimmers but that the sole object of the purchase was for the Calvin Klein licenses.

What will PVH do with the remaining brands - will it be business as usual or will some be spun off to help pay for the purchase?

From Deal Book at the New York Times:
The fashion company PVH Corporation agreed on Wednesday to acquire the Warnaco Group in a $2.9 billion deal, bringing various Calvin Klein brands under one corporate umbrella.

Under the terms of the deal, PVH, whose brands include Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, said it was offering $51.75 in cash and 0.18 of a share in PVH for each share in Warnaco, which is based in New York and controls the Calvin Klein jeans and underwear licenses. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

There was 7.7 magnitude earthquake off British Columbia - Hawaii tsunami warning canceled!

From the L.A. TImes: “The tsunami arrived about when we expected it should. It was a little smaller than we expected,” Gerald Fryer, a geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Oahu, told reporters. [Link]

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fran Crippen tragedy 2-years-on: From FINA, USA Swimming and down to ASCA nobody wanted to take the lead!

Dick Shoulberg is the President of the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) which is both an educational and certification body for USA Swimming. Shoulberg was recently interviewed by Associated Press and I am shocked by his comment.

It has been two years since the Fran Crippen tragedy and the only thing that has been accomplished since then is inaction by FINA and bunch of finger pointing at FINA. USA Swimming came up with some rules but they are still too hot in my opinion. Hence, I am going to offer a solution for determining a safe air/water temp for swimming based on NOAA air temps and humidity.

12-hours before Fran Crippen died he told coach Dick Shoulberg who was at the fateful race that the water is 87-degrees and the air 100-degrees. That is a combined temperature reading of 187-degrees.

Reference: Dick Shouldberg to ABC News two years ago:

 [Fran] Crippen had told [Dick] Shoulberg just 12-hours before the race that the outside temperature was 100 degrees and that the water was 87 degrees. Several swimmers complained of dehydration and disorientation and three were taken to the hospital. 

Now contrast Dick Shoulberg's quote above to this quote he gave to Associated Press some two-years later:
"Fran was in the perfect storm to die," says his longtime coach, Dick Shoulberg. 

I found the recent AP link and the second quote from Shoulberg at the Huffington Post. The article is essentially a rant whereas everyone is pointing a finger at FINA for inaction. It's my opinion that a dynamic individual at USA Swimming, or ASCA, should pull a "Susan Woessner;" (a USA Swimming director who had the good sense to call the police on Rick Curl and get him arrested),  figure out what is safe all on their own.

Obviously Shoulberg had no idea that Fran Crippen had just delivered to him the weather report for that "...perfect storm to die" in. Hence, any anguish he feels about that day should be aimed at finding a solution rather than waiting and complaining. Pointing fingers is not a solution. He is the president of ASCA and if FINA or any of the above are not going to do any leg work or the R&D needed to provide safe guidelines than it is up to individual coaches to be trained to green-light their swimmers for these events.

In all honesty, ASCA is an an educational and certification body, why haven't they figured it out? Isn't that the responsibility of a educational institution to be on the forefront of literature and R&D work thereby providing guidelines?

So, if I am going point fingers at that these self-interested old men who run the sport who in my opinion don't want to lead, I offer a water-temp to air-temp ratio solution.

The data is all there, I checked out several kayak forums, news groups and info sites regarding hypothermia and hyperthermia and they have a "rule of thumb" measurement to determine what makes for safe kayaking which I believe a governing body or a coach could use to keep safe body temp wise.

From the New River Campground
"... One of the biggest risks of river rafting is hypothermia. For dealing with this the golden rule of air and water temperature was developed. The rule is simple, just add the air temperature and the water temperature to get the combined temperature. If the combined water plus air temperature is less than 120, wet or dry suits are recommended. If the combined temperatures are below 100 degrees, wet or dry suits should be required. Here at New River Campground Canoeing and Kayaking we believe in following this rule, and will require you to have a wet or dry suit if you wish to go on the river when the combined temps are below 100 degrees. .." 

The "rule of thumb" above leaves the air-temp and humidity out of the equation but they seem pretty reliable as a benchmark from and anecdotal point of view.

I obtained information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) who have a solid algorithm scale as to when temps get dangerous. Below is the Heat index chart for air temps.

For instance, today in a suburb of Los Angeles where I live the air temp today will be 93-degrees with 47% humidity. Per the chart above that is border line danger for the Heat Index tells us that it will feel like 103-degrees. Note, extreme caution per the chart above is when the Heat Index reaches 91-degrees.

When Fran Crippen died in Abu Dabai, Crippen told his coach, Richard Shoulberg, before the race that the air temp was 100-degrees and that the water temp was 87-degrees as mentioned above

See the chart above, 100-degrees as an air-temp is bordering upon Extreme-Caution. Even the water temperature if converted to an air-temp with 0% humidity was nearing the Extreme Caution zone. Consequently, all the coaches on the beach and all the swimmers in the water that day had no idea what they doing to themselves. The trouble was that all of the data was available but all of the above were ignorant to the dangers.

Then, a year later a near sequel in Shanghai with near fatal consequences occurred...

From Swimming World:

FINA World Championships, Open Water: Petar Stoychev, Ana Marcela Cunha Win Controversy-Marred 25K Races 
"... This all takes place against the backdrop of the death of Fran Crippen at the UAE stop of the FINA Open Water 10K World Cup less than a year ago in October 2010. Calls for rules to enhance athlete safety were met with a slew of recommendations from two separate commissions (FINA, USA Swimming), which included a recommended maximum temperature of [88-degrees Fahrenheit.] Again, these recommendations have yet to be codified into the rule books. 
Throughout the men's race, 10 more swimmers did not finish the race including an open water veteran like Italy's Valerio Cleri. For the women, four more swimmers did not finish the course including USA's Claire Thompson. Thompson ignored USA Swimming's suggestion that the U.S. not participate in the event, and the team had to let her race due to the Amateur Sports Act. ..."

What frustrates me is that the press nor I paid attention to the air temps at Shanghai. The average temps the time of year when the race was conducted is around 95-degrees. With one fatal race behind us and a second potentially fatal one in Shanghai, it's demonstrable that a combined air-and-water-temp over 185-degrees has proven both fatal and near-fatal.

So where do we go with this and what numbers as a benchmark do we come up with? Here is what I suggest by taking the New River Campground and NOAA's guidelines in the image above and submitting this benchmark as a possible ratio:

New River Campground kayaking Model:
  1. Air-temp + Water-temp = 100  (Wetsuits or drysuits are mandatory)
  2. Air-temp + Water-temp = 120  (Wetsuits or drysuits recommended)

Open water swimming suggested model:
  1. Air-temp Heat Index + Water Temp = 100  (Wetsuits mandatory)
  2. Air-temp Heat Index + Water Temp = 120  (Wetsuits recommended)
  3. Air-temp Heat Index + Water Temp = 140  (Choice of swimming attire)
  4. Air-temp Heat Index + Water Temp = 170  (DO NOT RACE)

To simplify even more: Combined air-temp/water temp is 100-degrees total, to cold to swim, Combined air-temp/water temp is 170, to hot to swim ! In my opinion, this is bullet proof.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Who owns your music, your books or your phone?

You've been owned Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether you have the right to sell your stuff on eBay. Do you really own the smartphone or computer you’re using to read this? If you sold your books, would you be breaking the law? A federal court in New York says you would be, even if you legally paid for and bought them.

It's unbelievable, but trademark and copyright holders are trying to use a legal loophole to take away your right to sell things that you own. The mainstream media is starting to catch on, with the Wall Street Journal just running an article headlined, "YOUR RIGHT TO RESELL YOUR OWN STUFF IS IN PERIL". Please add your name at right to fight back.

Public interest advocates are taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court, and Demand Progress is joining up with a coalition of groups -- including many of those that came together to kill SOPA -- to support the rights of ordinary Internet users and everyday consumers.

Once again, big entertainment company lobbyists are fighting us in the courts to ensure their profits are given higher priority than consumer rights. But this time the MPAA and RIAA have the Obama administration on their side -- they've all filed legal briefs asking the Supreme Court to restrict our right to resell the things we own..

We only have a few weeks to make our voices heard before the Supreme Court makes a lasting ruling. We are working to defend a long-standing principle known as the "First-Sale Doctrine." This common-sense rule gives us the right to sell most property we own, but big businesses have been trying to chip away at out our rights in the courts. If the Supreme Court supports the lower court’s decision, we won't really “own” anything if any part of it was made in a different country. And practically anything you own -- from your iPod to your house -- could have been made abroad, in whole or in part.

If we lose this fight, practically anybody who wants to resell products they bought -- from Macbooks and iPhones to our clothing and textbooks -- will have to ask copyright holders for permission first. And they'll have the right to deny it!

It's bad for so many reasons: It'll undermine Craigslist and Ebay, hurt the environment, increase incentives for manufacturers to move jobs off-shore, and effectively ban the traditional American yard sale. For more info, please check out Marvin Ammori's article about the lawsuit.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why was Rick Curl arrested 25-years later? - "There is generally no statute of limitations on felony charges in Maryland."

[UPDATE: Rebuttal From Swimming Exposed added]

What strikes me as odd about this whole drama; and it truly is a legitimate drama, is that nobody realized that they could call the police and have Rick Curl arrested for sexual abuse on a minor. I mean NOBODY from beginning to end.

The list of people is seemingly in the dozens: from the victim who later grew up believing she couldn't file. To individuals like USA Swimming board member, David Berkoff, who ostensibly believe all the rumors of Kelley Currin's sexual abuse but did nothing. To the investigators at USA Swimming. Possibly their executive director. Currin's attorney even, to this blogger, to anybody that read of Currin's travails.

Remarkably, it was Susan Woessner who after receiving an email from victim's attorney, Robert Allard, called the Maryland Police a year-and-a-half or so after USA Swimming received the complaint. The most obvious thing to do and it got missed by everybody till Woessner decided to call!

Why did nobody call; why didn't I call even?  I think the answer is that we all thought that after 7-years or so the statute of limitations gives the offender a "get out of jail free card" but in Maryland that may not be the case.

From Sports Illustrated:

One of his former swimmers, Kelley Davies Currin, claims Curl started a relationship with her in 1983 when she was 13. It lasted for about four years until discovered by her parents. On advice of counsel, the family settled the case with Curl for $150,000 rather than pursuing criminal charges, a decision the alleged victim now regrets. Curl could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. There is generally no statute of limitations on felony charges in Maryland. 

I spent five hours this morning trying to figure who called the police to get Curl arrested. When I read in Swimming World that Susan Woessner filed the report and made that call, I did not believe it.

Why? I did not believe it because of the specter of Chuck Wielgus with all his double talk in the sexual abuse lawsuit depositions and most of all that email he sent telling a colleague to keep a sexual abuse complaint from a young swimmer "...between you and me."

The 5-hours I spent was used writing emails, chatting with a well informed source, more emails, till finally it was Susan Woessner who was the last person standing who could have made that call.

I know I am a broken record and I know that I am going "Craig Lord" on this subject but USA Swimming will never be trusted, will always have lawyers chasing them as long as Chuck Wielgus refuses to "fall on his sword" and take the shame and blame away from the organization so they can reboot and be trusted especially when they get something right.

Rebuttal Start:

Don't get too excited about Susan Woessner calling the police in Maryland. USA Swimming received credible and specific information in April of 2011 and did nothing AFTER an investigation. USA Swimming had the Curl settlement agreement in hand in March of 2012. Action taken... zero.

(Susan Woesner and Chuck Wielgus are like seagulls, you have to kick them to make them move.)

There are two reasons why USA Swimming finally acted in this case. First, a few days before the call USA Swimming received a letter from Kelly's lawyer stating that he was filing a claim on her behalf. Second, the phone was ringing at USA Swimming headquarters from reporters who had the same information.

Don't forget David Berkoff's now infamous email... "Rick Curl, Mitch Ivey and others banging their swimmers! It’s a flat out lie. They knew about it because we (coaches and athletes) were all talking about it in late 1980’s and early 1990’s." USA Swimming indeed knew and did nothing.

Oh, if you read Chuck Wielgus depositions from the Andy King case he admits he knew about Curl prior to 2010.

Any credit for this arrest needs to go to the lawyers and journalists pursuing this issue and most of all to Kelly Currin for having the tremendous courage to come forward.

USA Swimming acts in reaction only and then only reluctantly. Think Fran Crippen and the force that had to be used at this year's convention to get Open Water funding restored. The Rick Curl case is another massive example.

It's time to give USA Swimming something to react to.

--Swimming Esposed

USA Swimming filed the report that led to Rick Curl's arrest!

Susan Woessner at USA Swimming filed the complaint that led to the arrest of Rick Curl.

Here is a timeline:
  1. April 2011 USA Swimming gets a report that Rick Curl sexually abused a swimmer. This starts an investigation.
  2. March 2012 Kelly Currin sends USA Swimming her civil settlement with Curl as evidence. 
  3. July 2012 Currin sees Curl on Deck at US trials and is incensed to no end!
  4. Currin hires attorney Robert Allard who sends an email on Friday July 20th to USA Swimming.
  5. July 24th Susan Woessner calls the police and files a report.
From Swimming World:
"... USA Swimming spokesperson Jamie Olsen has since confirmed to Swimming World that this initial police report was filed by USA Swimming Safe Sport Director Susan Woessner on July 24 via a phone call. Woessner also followed up that phone report with an email. Olsen also stated that USA Swimming would have no further comment on Curl, as its process is complete. ..."
The photo above is from the movie "The Quick and the Dead" starring Sharon Stone. In the photo Actor Gene Hackman, the antagonist of the movie, recognizes that he has been shot through the heart after viewing a hole in his shadow. I have been using photos from that movie as an allegory to street justice for coaches who sexually abuse swimmers. The shadow above represents Rick Curl after being "shot" by Susan Woessner.

Washington Post: Rick Curl arrested - Turned himself in!

UPDATE to include Attorney Statement from Mrs. Currin Davis lawyer - see below links section. 

From the Washington Post: "...Rick Curl turned himself in to police Thursday morning to face one count of child abuse..." [Link]

From Bethesda Now: "... The abuse occurred in the swimming facilities at Georgetown Prep in North Bethesda, as well as Curl’s former homes in Rockville and Darnestown, police said. ..." [Link]

From WUSA9:  "...Sixty-three-year-old Rick Curl is accused of sexually abusing a girl he used to coach. Police say detectives determined that Curl allegedly started inappropriately touching the victim when she was 13. Between the time she was 15 and 18, the abuse "progressed to an inappropriate sexual relationship," say police, in places in Montgomery County, including Curl's homes and the Georgetown Preparatory School swimming facilities..." [Link]

From NBC4 Washington: "...[Kelley] Davis Currin said she had received a $150,000 settlement from Curl years ago, in exchange for not telling police the details. ..." [Link]

Mrs. Currin Davis - You did right!

Attorney Statement: “Ms. Currin is pleased that justice is going to be carried out against Mr. Curl but there remains unfinished business. We hope that a similar fate is in store for those at USA Swimming who covered up for him over a period of literally decades. The current Vice President of USA Swimming has admitted in writing that knowledge about Mr. Curl “banging” his swimmers has gone back to as early as the late 1980’s. An untold number of childhood sexual abuse has occurred due to the callous inaction of those who knew about Mr. Curl’s sexual predilections and did absolutely nothing about it. We urge the authorities, as they did with Penn State, to now look into possible criminal conduct that has occurred within USA Swimming. ...”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Do you know where Rick Curl is? The police don't!

I got an email from a reader that the Fairfax County police in Virginia have been looking for Curl for a week or two and they have not found him yet. If you know where he is call them!

For those who do not know who swim coach Rick Curl is, go here:  [Link]

Warrant issued for Rick Curl's arrest!

For those who do not know who swim coach Rick Curl is, see this USA Today article on how he sexually abused a young swimmer and got away  with it via a civil settlement with the 13-year-old victim's family.  [Link]

From Concussion Inc:

"...In addition, prosecutors in Fairfax County, Virginia, are considering whether to act on the results of its own criminal investigation. The evidence includes a confession letter written by Curl in 1987. ..."


Craig Lord declares swimming is still dirty!

Craig Lord builds a straw man argument stating that all the doping questions in cycling were justified because they turned out to be true, ergo, questioning performances in swimming is equally justified and should be done early and often.

What he fails to grasp is that those doing the questioning within the sport of cycling were the doping agencies at large as well as witnesses like Greg Lemond and those on the US Postal team.

In the snippet below, notice how Mr. Lord refuses to bring up the specific name of the Chinese swimmer, Ye Shiwen, and her performance in the 400 IM. Every coach and sophisticated swimmer knows who he is talking about. He obviously won't mention her name because at this point it would be a solid case of libel since there is a preponderance of organizations that do not believe in his doping fairy tale and have gone to great lengths to end that speculation.

From Swim News:
"... In London at the Olympic Games, day one in the pool delivered a huge anomaly in the sport. Legitimate questions were raised - and, as ever, those who raised the questions were slammed for doing so. Those questions remain - and so far, there have been no satisfactory answers. ..." 

YES, there have been satisfactory answers rendered.

The satisfactory answer is that Ye Shiwen did not dope. The people delivering that satisfactory answer were the following organizations: the World Anti-Doping Agency; the International Olympic Committee; FINA, who is the governing body of swimming; and even the British Olympic Association chairman, Lord Moynihan. Lord Moynihan seen in the video above validates Shiwen's performance and takes the time to strike out at people like Craig Lord and John Leonard who raised their phony suspicions about her even though she was deemed clean by a consortium of governing bodies.

Here is a link to the Daily Telegraph illustrating how far out of his way he went to dispel the rumors:
"And it is regrettable there is so much speculation out there. I don't like it. I think it is wrong. That athlete or, indeed, any athlete that has never tested positive is an athlete who should be supported by her federation and, indeed, everybody in the Olympic movement.


For John Leonard and  and Craig Lord that was not enough. One must question why they are screaming such nonsense and hitting back at the governing bodies even though they are telling them to stop? Why aren't they shouting about the sex abuse scandals or how USA Swimming spends less money on the subject of their non profit then the LiveStrong foundation or AmfAR.

Ian Thorpe: The Swimmer Part One: Ian shares his struggles to come back from retirement

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lance Armstrong - He is Legend - Go Lance

I believe that swimmer/cyclist Lance Armstrong has done far more good for humanity than bad. I don't believe he is being treating unfairly by sports governing bodies but I do think he is by the media. All the penalties he has received are acceptable but I feel that his failures are being touted more loudly than than his legitimate successes.

In a sport filled with rampant doping Armstrong was the norm and not the exception. Cycling is so awash in dope and oxygenated blood that one wonders why the sport was not designated an "FDA Phase I-III clinical trial." In other words doping was the de facto standard rather than the anomaly.

The norm, no matter how crazy it seems, is still called...Normal!

Armstrong's punishments fit but the narrative should be in the proper context: Lance Armstrong was a cheat in a sport where the overwhelming majority of winners were cheaters. That he started a cancer foundation that inspired victims and that the LiveStrong  foundation he founded delivers 82% of its donations to programs rather than  salaries, furniture, and defending lawsuits from the sexually abused victims. Does USA Swimming put 82% of its monies toward programs? I think not.

Top Five Tour de France finishers form 1999 to 2005 compiled from Reddit:

Lance Armstrong
Alex Zülle (‘98 busted for EPO)
Fernando Escartín (Systematic team doping exposed in ‘04)
Laurent Dufaux (‘98 busted for EPO)
Ángel Casero (‘06 implicated in Operacion Puerto)

Lance Armstrong
Jan Ullrich (‘06 implicated in Operacion Puerto)
Joseba Beloki (‘06 implicated in Operacion Puerto)
Christophe Moraue (‘98 busted for EPO)
Roberto Heras (‘05 busted for EPO)

Lance Armstrong
Jan Ullrich (‘06 implicated in Operacion Puerto)
Joseba Beloki (‘06 implicated in Operacion Puerto)
Andrei Kivilev (CLEAN - Died in 2003 of a head injury)
Igor González de Galdeano (‘06 implicated in Operacion Puerto)

Lance Armstrong
Joseba Beloki (‘06 implicated in Operacion Puerto)
Raimondas Rumšas (Suspended in ‘03 for doping)
Santiago Botero (‘06 implicated in Operacion Puerto)
Igor González de Galdeano (‘06 implicated in Operacion Puerto)

Lance Armstrong
Jan Ullrich (‘06 implicated in Operacion Puerto)
Alexander Vinokourov (Suspended in ‘07 for CERA)
Tyler Hamilton (Suspended ‘04 for blood doping)
Haimar Zubeldia (CLEAN)

Lance Armstrong
Andreas Kloden (Named in doping case in ‘08)
Ivan Basso (Suspended in ‘07 for Operacion Puerto ties)
Jan Ullrich (‘06 implicated in Operacion Puerto)
Jose Azevedo (‘06 implicated in Operacion Puerto)

Lance Armstrong
Ivan Basso (Suspended in ‘07 for Operacion Puerto ties)
Jan Ullrich (‘06 implicated in Operacion Puerto)
Fransico Mancebo (‘06 implicated in Operacion Puerto)
Alexander Vinokourov (Suspended in ‘07 for CERA)

Cycling is slowly recovering as is the Tour de France. Times are much slower than before but the specter of doping still remains. They too have a shady governing body but I will leave it at that...

There is novel called I Am Legend, (not the movie), written in 1954 by Richard Mateson. It was the actual forerunner to the "Zombie Apocalypse" genre that we see today. In the book, the world is overrun by a pandemic disease that drives the a large percentage of the population insane and overly sensitive to light. Many therein, due to their insanity and innate superstitions think they have been converted into vampires.

Spoiler ahead:

After the protagonist Robert Neville kills"vampires" to numerous to count, a hybrid vampire befriends the protagonist, Robert Neville,  betrays him and consequently offers him up to the "hoard" to be executed for murder. As he looks out his jail cell he realizes...

From Wikipedia:
Neville goes to his prison window and sees all the infected waiting for his execution. Judging by their reactions to the sight of him, he now recognizes their point of view. Having hitherto seen the destruction of the infected survivors as a moral imperative to be pursued for his own and mankind's survival, he failed to realize that the infected have come to view him in fear and awe. To them, he was an invisible killer who moved by day, killing their loved ones as they hibernated. He realizes that even as vampires were legend in pre-infection times, he, a remnant of old humanity, is now a legend to the new race born of the infection. He therefore remarks to himself as he dies: "[I am] a new superstition entering the unassailable fortress of forever. I am legend"

Lance Armstrong is certainly a legend but let's not list him as an evil legend. He has certainly been placed into a "sporting bodies death row cell" but his public "crucifiction" should be more balanced and accurate. There is no "artesian well" of perfect people and quite frankly the accomplishments he has made in helping people and defeating cancer at large are far greater than the people he burned in a recreational sport.

Go Lance!

Laureus Foundation research reveals: For every Euro spent on sports there is an average ROI of €5.02 back to society by reducing costs to victims, police, prisons and courts.

Research reveals in a Laureus Foundation report that for every one euro invested in sports projects there is an average return of 5.02 euros back to society by reducing costs to victims, police, prisons and courts.

With that in mind, in California it costs $47,000 per year to incarcerate an inmate. Recidivism rates from prison once an inmate is released are running about 52%. If this study can be duplicated and show the same results in the United States as it did in Europe, how could anyone be against a social program that created such an enormous return on investment?

Olympian Edwin Mosses is the chairman of the Laureus Foundation so this organization has credibility not because of his medals and accolades but as a results of his accomplishments.  "...As a sports administrator, Moses participated in the development of a number of anti-drug policies and helped the track and field community develop one of sports' most stringent random in-competition drug testing systems. In December 1988 he designed and created amateur sports' first random out-of-competition drug testing program. ..." See his resume´ here: [Link]

Perhaps the "Splash foundation" should rebrand and start cutting deals with local governments? I am going to suggest SCAQ do so with their kids team. Perhaps your club can do it too?

German heavyweight boxing legend and Laureus Ambassador Axel Schulz was present at the launch of the report in Berlin. He said: “When you have been involved in sport for as long as I have, you know how much good it can do. But it’s no good just going out and shouting ‘sport is great’. You need to have research like this which proves beyond doubt that sport can really make a significant economic difference. This gives us the ammunition to take to governments and say ‘here is the proof, now give sport a chance to help’.”

Building on an earlier Laureus-funded report, Teenage Kicks, from 2011, the new report examined projects in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, which reinforced the original findings, that there is a significant economic return to be had from investing in sports-based crime prevention programmes.

Sport Scores measured the results of four community-based projects – Fight for Peace in London, KICK Im Boxring in Berlin, Midnight Basketball in Milan and Sport and Thought in London – all of which use sport to engage young people in a programme of education and support. They were all found to be highly cost-effective and successful in reducing youth crime.

Fight for Peace is a Laureus funded project in East London that uses boxing and martial arts as a means to re-engage and support young people with their personal development. The report estimated the project delivers a beneficial cost ratio of £4.42 for every £1 invested.

KICK Im Boxring is a Laureus funded project with four bases in Berlin and three partnership programmes with local boxing clubs. It is estimated the project delivers a beneficial cost ratio of €3.43 for every €1 invested.

Midnight Basketball is a project delivered by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in Italy, based in a public park in Quarto Oggiaro in Milan. The project aims to keep young people off the streets and out of trouble using basketball during late-night hours. This delivers a benefit ratio of €5.64 for every €1 invested.

Sport and Thought is a project working in Newman Catholic College in Brent, North West London, which offers weekly after-school football and psycho-therapeutic sessions to combat school exclusion. It provides a return on investment of £6.58 for every £1 spent.

Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, said: “What we see from the projects analysed in this report are the positive benefits that sport can generate in relation to health, education, and employment. But the benefits are not just for the individual. When these projects work they work for us all – whether it’s a reduction in police time spent on dealing with criminal behaviour, less health care on those who are leading more healthy lives or less support for those no longer cared for by social services or the prison system. This report helps frame that bigger picture, by contributing to the growing body of evidence showcasing the social and economic returns of sport worldwide.” 
Full report here - a must read with graphs, statistics and more - MUCH MORE: [Link]

Mercedes Benz and watch maker IWC are global partners with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation

Saturday, October 20, 2012

National Geographic: Why do emperor penguins swim so fast? - They swim on "techsuits" made of air.

The most obvious way to reduce drag in the water is put bubbles between you and the liquid. That is what penguins do and that is why they can swim so fast.

From National Geographic:

The key to this talent is in the penguin’s feathers. Like other birds, emperors have the capacity to fluff their feathers and insulate their bodies with a layer of air. But whereas most birds have rows of feathers with bare skin between them, emperor penguins have a dense, uniform coat of feathers. And because the bases of their feathers include tiny filaments—just 20 microns in diameter, less than half the width of a thin human hair—air is trapped in a fine, downy mesh and released as microbubbles so tiny that they form a lubricating coat on the feather surface. 

I am confident that filaments such as these could be easily be recreated for swimsuits of today but will Craig Lord allow his "b****", also known as FINA, to approve it? - I think not.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

America's Cup: ORACLE TEAM USA Capsizes 72-foot-high boat - Goodbye 8-million-dollars!

I saw photos right when it capsized and there was a crew member hanging 30-feet above the 53-degree water. The America's Cup team has a great crew and captain and the captain's words to his crew as the boat was flipping: "keep an eye on your mate."

All sailors should become Masters swimmers.

VIDEO: 50 Butterfly Men Fina/Arena World Cup 2012 Moscow

The butterfly is such a work of art. It's probably the most fair of all the strokes too. Whereas freestyle favors the long and lanky, the butterfly favors no body length.

Targett simply dominates this race. Great style too.

VIDEO: 50 Freestyle Women Fina/Arena World Cup 2012 Moscow!

Britta Steffen owned Jessica Hardy with her underwater work. Hardy took nearly three strokes before Steffen broke the surface. Hardy was ahead at the wall but off the wall Hardy was behind. Britta's back-half of the race was amazing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Leadership wise what is the moral difference between Lance Armstrong and USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus?

Besides the fact that Lance Armstrong and his foundation has contributed more to humanity and to the morale of cancer victims worldwide, I am talking about something else here. I am talking about leadership and putting the non profit you work for above all self interest. Lance Armstrong resigned today as chairman of his cancer foundation known as Livestrong after being disgraced for doping. Chuck Wielgus stays employed despite being caught covering up a complaint of sexual abuse from a young swimmer in San Jose.

One could even argue that Lance Armstrong was arguably disgraced. To put "arguably" into real terms, he was disgraced in a sport so filled with dope that if you were going to reward the real "first place" rider of the Tour de France in 2005, a rider never busted for doping, it will have to be awarded to the person who placed 23rd. Yes, the top 23-riders have been caught riding dirty. Previous years from 2005 back down to 1999 are just as outrageous.

From Reddit where the above stats were posted: [Link]

Here is his resignation statement Armstrong gave printed in New York Times:
"I have had the great honor of serving as this foundation’s chairman for the last five years and its mission and success are my top priorities," Armstrong said in a statement. “Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship." 

Lance Armstrong resigned to take all the shame, the distraction, and the blame away from the non-profit he founded. This way Livestrong could move forward and let the organization "reboot" and be observed with a fresh start and keep doing all of the good that they do.

As for Chuck Wielgus of USA Swimming:

When Chuck Wielgus got caught covering-up an email complaint from a young victim of sexual abuse; (or what I call a cry for help from San Jose), he refused to act on it and told another individual in a email to "kepp it between us." He refused to resign his position as Executive Director of USA Swimming and he refused on the news program 20/20 to apologize to the victims.

Subsequently, he stayed on as Executive Director at USA Swimming to the chagrin of those too afraid to complain for fear of retribution. (Read that as Ken Stopkotte who did complain vigorously and was punished in my opinion.) Wielgus was able to stick around because the Board of Directors at USA Swimming gave their unconditional support, or as one person told me confidentially; "circled the wagons around him" allowing him to keep his $636,000-a-year job. This was a deed which I found despicable and so will history. It won't surprise me if some day soon some individual board members start getting sued by victims.

 If Wielgus would have done the noble thing by resigning, USA Swimming, would have the credibility that the Livestrong foundation will have. Right now they don't and they won't.

Am I lying?

Video: GoPro Hero3 is here, specs are amazing, see three girls swim out to a pod of humpbacked whales wearing monofins!

At the 4:18 mark three beautiful girls with Monofins hang with some hump backed whales. Surfer, Kelly Slater, is featured busting out of a barrel with a rainbow arc right there on the horizon.

GoPro cameras and water mixed really well!

The specs on the camera are beyond motion picture quality.

In the video above the sound track starts out with a classical flare with strings and when the action starts bends it into some dub-step. Makes we want me want to surfing this morning.

From Electronista:

The Hero3 is available in three models. At the high end, the Black Edition retails for $400, but is the only model that can shoot in 4K. While it is capable of the higher resolution, frame rates are dropped to 15fps to make it possible. However, it can shoot 1080p at a high 60fps and 720p at 120fps. 
The Black Edition can also take still images at 12-megapixels, with a 30fps burst capability. A Wi-Fi remote is also included.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

ABC News: Felix Baumgartner: Supersonic Skydive 'Like Swimming Without Touching the Water'

An amazing accomplishment by Felex Baumgartner, his team and especially Red Bull who had the courage to put millions-upon-millions-of-dollars into a science experiment that needed updating. If he would have died the Red Bull brand would have been ruined. Instead, this brand has surged above all other energy drinks. Where energy drink maker Monster is sponsoring surfers, skateboarders and motocross racers, and Rock Star is doing likewise, Red Bull crated an ad hoc space program which NASA is even interested in and several astronauts from both Europe and America "Tweeted" their approval.

How does this relate with Swimming? After spinning out of control his first few minutes, Baumgartner describe it like this:

From ABC News:
Baumgartner, whose Sunday freefall was watched around the world, was at one point traveling at 833 mph or Mach 1.24, and he shattered the speed of sound during his 4 minute 20 second freefall. He is the only human to do so without the aid of a supersonic jet or space shuttle.

"It's like swimming without touching the water, and it's hard because every time it turns you around you have to figure out what to do. So I was sticking my arm out then it became worse," he said.


ABC News has video and follow-up at the link above that is actually pretty good. Check it out.

The Screen shot above is from They took a series of the screenshots throughout the two-hour event and they have a great selection: [Link]

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My favorite French swimsuit maker Aquadeus held a swim meet over the weekend and some heavyweights showed up!

Photo above: Yannick Agnel and Charlotte Bonnet.

Camille Muffat storms the 100 free but get this, Camille swam her 100-free only 5- minutes after her 100 fly too. That is swimming like a boss!

Yannick takes the 200IM and Aschwin Wildeboer; (Awesome name for a swimmer. Sort of reads in english like "Awesome Wild Boar!"). Wildeboer swam a 23.99 in the 50 back.

Wish I was there but more details here: [Link]

The photo above is my favorite Aquadeus pattern. It has a matching cap as well: [Link]

Saturday, October 13, 2012

From 'Blue Aquatic Sports': FINA World Masters Championships in 2015 held concurrently with the 2015 FINA World Championships?

Monika Z. from the Blue Aquatic Sports blog sent us this. She maintains an aquatics blog in Germany and she truly scooped all of us with this one:

Translated from German:

"... An interview with FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu According already on 26.07.2012 published on the Web site of the FINA World Aquatics Convention , efforts are being made ​​at the occasion of the 16th FINA FINA World Championships in Kazan (Russia) to zusammenzu-both events. Marculescu speaks of a great challenge with the aim of the "normal" world cup using the "mass event Masters Cup", to zoom into an event with between 12,000 to 14,000 participants. The Organizing Committee is therefore already discussed about the possibility of an athlete village. ..." 
[English Link]

Now that is news! Thank you Monika.

The video above is a promotional video for 2015 FINAWorld Championships. The pool is showcased at the 1:35 mark and I also recommend hitting the mute button for the soundtrack gets rather shrill after the first minute.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bloggers get called out by both USA Swimming and Craig Lord of Swim News!

Second time in a week that several bloggers, which I include myself, have been called out for not towing the "party line, or the "USA Swimming message."

Let's start with the criticism we bloggers got from Swim News.

From Swim News:

"...There is contradiction to overcome: among those screaming for action against USA Swimming in the crisis over sexual abuse and banning of coaches are those who scream just as loudly that it is wrong to ask questions about clear and significant anomaly in the race pool (even though the winner may well herself be a victim of abuse, as has been the case many a time over in swimming history). ..." 

Yes, Bloggers like myself are definitely "screaming" at the injustices of child rapes, and cover-ups. Yes, we are also shouting at silly men like John Leonard who rhetorically questioned a particular Chinese swimmer's extraordinary performance to a British tabloid rather than to professionals whose job it is to gate guard the sport from doping. Such organizations include the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) but definitely not a tabloid newspaper owned by Rupert Murdock and his ilk. For those that do not know who Murdock is, he is that Commonwealth export that brought America the FOX News network and phone hacking journalism to Great Britain.

Next, Craig Lord makes a very odd statement that the "...winner may well herself be a victim of abuse ..." This is quite a curious statement indeed. In fact, let's just get her name out there to be specific, shall we? Her name is Ye Shiwen and not once has she stated that she was ever a victim of sexual abuse or otherwise. The only organization I know that is questioning if she was abused is a tabloid called the Daily Mail, again, a tabloid owned by Rupert Murdock.

Onto USA Swimming: 

In a fax sent to clubs, USA Swimming sets up a straw man argument that suggests that any blogger or website that states negative information exists only for the sole purpose of undermining USA Swimming. Hence USA Swimming has branded us as liars, discontents or those with ulterior motives.

From a FAX sent to me by a reader who views this blog favorably:

3. What is USA Swimming doing about various websites that continue to distribute negative information about USA Swimming and some of its volunteer and staff leaders? 
USA Swimming recognizes that there are a few websites that seem to exist expressly for the purpose of trying to undermine and embarrass USA Swimming and some of its volunteer and staff leaders. These websites frequently publish inaccurate and intentionally misleading information and we believe most people see these websites for what they are. As such, with few exceptions, USA Swimming has elected not to engage them with any comments or public debate. In the case of news sites that traditionally cover the sport, we have begun to aggressively correct information that is wrong or misleading with the appropriate editors. 
4. When a website or blogger distributes incorrect or misleading information about USA Swimming or any of its volunteer or staff leaders, how are we responding? 
There are no requirements that bloggers “fact check” their postings, and we have found that attempts to set the record straight are usually ineffective. This has only served to reinforce our decision not to engage in a dialogue with these websites or bloggers. Although we do not publicly respond to these website or bloggers, USA Swimming President Bruce Stratton and senior staff will always be happy to respond to any individual member’s questions about the content of these sites. 
 5. How should we respond when coaches, officials or others talk negatively or express concerns about USA Swimming or its volunteer and staff leaders? 
At a minimum, a reasonable response is to tell people not to believe everything they read, and to understand that especially with sensitive issues and legal matters, that USA Swimming’s leaders are frequently unable to make public statements. We should also be encouraging people look at the Safe Sport report card that was released during the recent USAS Convention. This report provides positive examples of the effectiveness of the Safe Sport program. Also, please take some time to familiarize yourself with the Safe Sport section We are always willing to listen to concerns and constructive criticism from our members and we encourage you to do the same. When you can correct false information you are empowered to do so. Additionally, USA Swimming President Bruce Stratton has continually expressed his willingness to listen to and talk with members who have concerns. Likewise, members of the senior staff team in Colorado Springs are also available and are happy to listen to and talk with members about their concerns.

Point number three in the fax above is a "straw man argument." Let me demonstrate:  USA Swimming begins the paragraph with prejudice and malice to brand bloggers like myself as  spreading lies, linking to lies and doing no fact checking. Well, it wasn't a lie when I published that the Executive director of USA Swimming makes about $636,000 a year: [Link] - [2008 Form 990 Link]

It wasn't a lie when I stated Chuck Wielgus covered up a sexual abuse complaint that was sent directly to him by a young swimmer crying for help. His response to CBenton@[...] was "...This matter should be kept confidential between you and us." [Link]

It wasn't a lie when I published the accusation that the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) was not incorporated correctly which had both the writer of this blog and Sarah G. threaten with a lawsuit. Their CEO later had to admit under oath in a deposition that none of what Sarah and I posted was incorrect but rather it was all true: [Link] - [Leonard Deposition - Link]

I don't lie and my goal is to make swimming better and we bloggers have made a HUGE difference. In fact USA Swimming has made huge strides once we tore into them but they have a "giant wart" in the way towards future respectability and I will get to that in a minute.

Point number four: When I make an error I have a history of correcting it as soon as possible and acknowledging that error. When facts change, I change! That is why I make corrections and so do most bloggers when found to be in error. I don't secretly delete a post like it never happened. I admit my mistakes and I apologize. This nonsense that USA Swimming can't contact me to correct a blog post is bologna because most of my posts have reference links.

Point number five: When an organization tells you to contact them to clarify or the willingness to accept a constructive criticism, contact them early and often. If you read something on my blog that seems fishy, contact me and I will explain it or correct it if needed. Doing so has made me untouchable to lawsuits. Just ask John Leonard. If you read something that seems "rock solid" and negative towards USA Swimming and you are worried about it then contact Bruce Stratton and ask questions then weigh the two arguments. You might be surprised as to who has a better grasp on the facts.

As to that wart: 

Five years ago USA Swimming was free from lawsuits, bloggers and rogue websites that fancy those cool Guy Fawkes images.  There were no lawsuits pending against USA Swimming whatsoever and the focus was all about swimming and that guy named Michael Phelps.

Then as a result of questionable leadership that included a marketing program with Speedo and a coach named Mark Schubert, USA Swimming found themselves in an anti-trust lawsuit with Orange County swimsuit manufacturer, TYR.  Within a year or so then came the sex abuse lawsuits; (plural), and the 20/20 news program which eviscerated any credibility the Executive Director had outside of USA Swimming.

USA Swimming then responded with a safe athlete program because they had to but it took 2-years-plus to become marginally effective but ultimately it was the bloggers and the media that made that happen. But while that program was getting organized some high profile coverups were exposed such as the Wielgus email posted above which became not only a dead albatross around the neck of the USA Swimming but has become a "MRI magnet" for further lawsuits.

In a post I wrote some weeks ago titled: What should have been USA Swimming's finest hour was shouted down by two middle-aged women!

I wrote therein: There is a term called "falling on your sword" - The literal sense means to commit suicide but the figurative usage is when a CEO, a politician or a general in the military takes personal responsibility or the blame for an organizational error by quitting or leaving that organization and taking all the shame and blame with them. This allows the organization to "reboot" and be looked at anew and given a second chance to catch it's breath and do the right thing.

Since Chuck Wielgus refused to take the "noble knight" way out and allow USA Swimming to look like a credible organization moving forward. Wielgus chose to be selfish in my opinion and as a result USA Swimming will never be granted a trust mandate it could have reserved for it will always be plausible that they are hiding something.

Hence, the lawyers won't go away, the bloggers will double in size and disparaging us is in no way going to remove the albatross but rather inspire us to fight the good fight.

If you have made it this far, ask yourself this, am I lying?

Doggy start dives at 1000-frames-per-second

Swimming is so awesome. Found at [Link]

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Natalie Coughlin hitches a ride on Team New Zealand's AC 45 Catamaran which sailed in the America’s Cup AC45 series!

I am presuming it's the AC45 since the AC72 Catamarans with their 72-foot high sales won't be sailing till next year.

Omega timepieces sponsors Team New Zealand and they will be timing the America's Cup next year as well.

Natalie Coughlin, like Michael Phelps and Buzz Aldrin, are brand ambassadors for Omega so she had some serious connections to get a ride on such a grand sailing vessel!

I believe she wears the ladies Seamaster Planet Ocean Chrono or perhaps the ladies Speedmaster Chronograph. Hard to tell in the photos of her. They call the Speedmaster the "Moon watch" since NASA endorsed it for spaceflight and Buzz Aldrin wore his when he walked on the moon. No other watch has been on the moon.

If she is out there and reading this, I would love to post which one. Seamaster, Speedmaster or both? If I wasn't so tired, I would post photos of the two watches.

As for me, I wear an Omega Seamaster DeVille but I have my eye on a DeVille Hour Time. Now Christmas is just around the corner and I'll pretend I never wrote this, okay? ;-)

Photo gallery at  [Link]

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Mark Schubert's Response to Dia Rianda's Wrongful Termination Lawsuit - Lots of bravado in the response but little substance.

A previous post here will explain the lawsuit: [Link]

Swimming World titled the article: "Mark Schubert's Response Blasts Dia Rianda's Wrong Termination Lawsuit." Schubert's lawyer, Richard Foster, claims therein that despite that Mark Schubert was Dia Rianda's boss her complaint is with the Golden West Swim Club and that she can't drag Schubert into it. Well, he is wrong. She can drag him into it because he was a party to the dismissal.

Here is a reference:

"... Armstrong Law Firm Sues California Pizza Kitchen for Sexual Harassment & Pregnancy Discrimination: 
The lawsuit names California Pizza Kitchen Supervisor Andy Lee (Palo Alto restaurant) as the individual who engaged in sexually abusive and harassing behavior. The complaint states that Lee had informed the plaintiff that he had prior sexual harassment complaints filed against him...."


I learned early that an employee can drag their supervisor into court over a wrongful termination case especially if they had a part in the wrongful termination which is what Dia is accusing him of doing.

Foster then goes on to say disparaging things about Dia saying what a naughty coach she was, blah, blah, blah, which I don't believe because every time I visited Dia's FaceBook page; (When I was on Facebook), she was showered with love everyday. In fact here is here resume: [Link]

From Swimming World:

"... Plaintiff and her counsel have alleged claims against Schubert that have no basis in the law," Foster's response states. "... all of her claims can only be brought against her employer, Golden West Swim Club. They are not claims that can be brought against Schubert, who was and is an employee of the club. With minimal research, an entry level attorney could have figured that the law does not allow Plaintiff to sue Schubert individually on the claims set forth in her complaint. ..."


Monday, October 08, 2012

Is USA Swimming allowing pedophile coaches to "Rape & Escape?" - Yes, it sure seems that way!

I posed that USA Swimming is backing off on investigations into pedophile coaches if an offending coach resigns and is no longer a member or as USA Swimming puts it "...not in USA Swimming's jurisdiction."

I called it the "rape and escape" clause for that is what it is: A clause that allows a pedophile coach who is under investigation to terminate that investigation and avoid that "black bullet point" on their resume that USA Swimming has summarily banned them for life.

This "Rape and Escape" clause was even admitted to and published in Swimming World.

From the Swimming World:
"... USA Swimming countered in its letter stating that it had no jurisdiction over the case because it happened before USA Swimming's existence, and also that the coach is no longer a member of USA Swimming and is also no longer under its jurisdiction. ..."  

Obviously this is a de facto admission when you look directly at what the USA Swimming rules state.

From a well informed reader - who pointed me to these two rules:
"... An argument could be made that the "rape and escape" dodge should not work. Rule 304.3.7(ii) addresses "any other adult participating in any capacity... (whether such adult is a member or not)" with regards to sexual conduct.

This is a mandatory report under Article 306.1 and Article 306.4 states "Neither civil nor criminal statutes of limitation apply to reports of cases of sexual abuse."

By these rules we believe that NBAC's report was mandatory and it doesn't matter if this was 37 years or 37 minutes ago.

In terms of the appropriate action if date is not important, USA Swimming must investigate this and act on findings under the "Prospective Member" aspect of Article 304.2.

I looked up what Rule 306.4 states and it was pretty specific:
Neither civil nor criminal statutes of limitation apply to reports of cases of sexual abuse: 

What Does Rule 304.3.7 state:
304.3.7(ii) = Any sexual conduct, advance, or other inappropriate sexual oriented behavior or action directed towards an athlete by (i) a coach member or other non-athlete member, or (ii) any other adult participating in any capacity whatsoever in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming (whether such adult is a member or not). Any nonconsensual physical sexual conduct, or pattern of other sexual harassment in connection or incidental to a USA Swimming-related activity by any person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming (Whether such person is a member or not) directed toward any member or other person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming.


From another informed reader:
"... FYI: you wrote: Note, if a coach is prosecuted for a sex crime and convicted in a court of law or a judgement is rendered against the coach in a civil court, I believe this coach would automatically be placed on the banned list.  
Tony, recall that Norm Havercroft had that civil judgment in San Jose, early 2000. He was never put on the banned list allowing him access to Jancy Thompson. 
Also, recall that Erick Lans back some 20 years ago settled a civil suit, actually USA Swimming did, sued for Lans' molestation crimes. He is nowhere to be found on the list even though he was criminally convicted. Somewhere we called Chuck on this and they came up with same lame excuse, he was not a member. He was not a member yet he was allowed to coach and they paid out. ..."

There was a preponderance of printed evidence that USA Swimming is not trustworthy and the above quotes in Swimming World especially when contrasted with their own rules resonates that feeling even more. Chuck Wielgus should have "fallen on his sword" and left USA Swimming thereby taking all the shame and disgrace with him thereby allowing a new Executive Director the breathing space to do the right things. Instead the policies still favor a select few while the shadow of mistrust will haunt them till they remove the old guard.

I am unimpressed with the USA Swimming board of directors for lacking the spine and the courage to do what is right. In no other sport would such malfeasance be tolerated.

This post is dedicated to my readers, especially the ones that school me and make this blog better!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

America's Cup: This is what it is like to sail under a 45-foot tall capsizing catamaran - this is what it's like to be in on a capsizing catamaran.

I have been following and watching the America's Cup series this week especially since I do a open water race in that bay each year.  The racing has been thrilling and the capsizing boats have been quite a dangerous spectacle to witness.

The Oracle boat seen capsizing in this YouTube video was captured by several digital video cameras on the catamaran itself and from surrounding boats as well. One boat barely escapes being toppled onto the crafts 45-foot long mast and sail.

All of the above was exciting and illustrates how sailing really is for swimmers only.

For dozens o video and races of the AMerica's cup here is a link to their YouTube Channel:  [Link]

I want to add something: Those down under, the Australians and the New Zealanders are the greatest sailors on earth. So great that most teams in the America's cup are skippered by those captains from down under.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

The 'Baltimore Sun' picks up the NBAC sex abuse story but misses the loophole in USA Swimming's child protection policy!

WBAL pulled down their North Baltimore Aquatics Club (NBAC) sex abuse story this past week but the Baltimore Sun has now put up their researched version and is standing by this account. This gives Timothy Joyce of WBAL a boost credibility-wise but neither the Baltimore Sun nor WBAL have noticed a critical flaw within USA Swimming's child protection policy.

That flaw is that USA Swimming will abandon an investigation on a suspect coach if that coach resigns from USA Swimming before or during that investigation. In other words, or to be blunt to drive this point home, there is a "rape-and-escape" loophole within their policy. This was mentioned first at Swimming World early this week...

From Swimming World:

"... Joyce reports that NBAC also alerted the authorities, and then alerted USA Swimming regarding the allegations. Joyce then called USA Swimming on the carpet for not beginning a full investigation. USA Swimming countered in its letter stating that it had no jurisdiction over the case because it happened before USA Swimming's existence, and also that the coach is no longer a member of USA Swimming and is also no longer under its jurisdiction. ..." 

There it is in bold face type above, USA Swimming will end an investigation if a coach resigns or exits effectively USA Swimming's jurisdiction. Consequently this allows the potential coach or coaches to escape the banned list or an investigation by sending a quickly drawn up letter of resignation.

Note, if a coach is prosecuted for a sex crime and convicted in a court of law or a judgement is rendered against the coach in a civil court, I believe this coach would automatically be placed on the banned list. But consider situations like Rick Curl or potentially this NBAC coach who is no longer a member... no longer under its jurisdiction. This coach may have successfully utilized the "rape/escape" clause if he indeed abused a swimmer will probably be placed on a secret "flagged" list thus preventing potential swim teams outside of USA Swimming the luxury of protecting their swimmers.

From the Baltimore Sun:

The coach was forced out of the position within 48 hours after club officials became aware of the allegation last fall, and the club contacted Baltimore County authorities, a source with knowledge of the situation said.

USA Swimming said it first received information about the alleged 1975 incident in August 2010, when a woman described the incident in a voice mail message. But the alleged victim did not follow up with an investigator.

Steven A. Allen, a Towson-based lawyer for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, said he would not comment about former or present employees or coaches for privacy reasons.

"We follow the guidelines of USA Swimming, and we follow all legal guidelines," Allen said. "We are always vigilant to behavior that may be inappropriate in order to detect it or prevent it. It's our goal that a safe environment be provided, and we do everything we can do to ensure that there is a safe environment."

It was unclear whether any charges have been filed in the alleged incident. 

When a user signs up for a social network site like Facebook, Linkedin or otherwise, they sign an end user license agreement or a EULA which the users effectively agree to thereby giving up a large percentage of their legal rights in exchange for using the service. There is no reason why USA Swimming cannot have a coach upon certification sign an EULA which which void this rape-and-escape loophole.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Bob Bowman Letter to NBAC families posted to the comment section of this blog.

This letter was posted to the comments section of the previous post. I have no idea if it is real but
it seems like a totally reasonable response if it is.

The real issue here is whether the WBAL article is valid and true. If so the North Baltimore Aquatics Club (NBAC) appears on prima facie to behaving responsibly.

Dear NBAC Families,
This morning an article appeared on by Tim Joyce concerning a former NBAC coach. Mr. Joyce has been covering USA Swimming and that organization’s response to allegations against coaches of improper behavior involving swimmers. A link to the article is here


While I cannot comment on the allegations, I can assure you that the safety, health and well being of our athletes, your sons and daughters, are paramount to all of the staff at NBAC. NBAC is committed to creating, and protecting, a safe and healthy environment for all of our participants.

Robert A. Bowman
Head Coach/CEO

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

See Swimming world Article and WBAL: North Baltimore Aquatic Club coach accused of sexual molestation over a period of decades.

I have no details why but assume that one or more of the following conditions occurred:

  1. They were not accurate
  2. They were only partially accurate
  3. They could not be verified
  4. WBAL did not want to defend them

What this tells me is that WBAL is too risky of a source to ever trust.

If these articles appear elsewhere and the publisher will take responsibility for them and be willing to defend them then I will link to them again.

The North Baltimore Aquatic Club, (NBAC) home to Michael Phelps and Bob Bowman did everything right when informed that a particular coach; (his name remains anonymous at this time), was accused of sexual molestation.

Once NBAC was notified, the club representative suspended or fired this coach, picked up the phone, called the victim's family to tell them that the police would be contacting them, and finally that USA Swimming would be called.

WBAL is reporting that once USA Swimming was approached with these developments USA Swimming did not bother to contact the victim even though this victim had contacted USA Swimming months before with the same allegations. WBAL is stating that USA Swimming refused to take up the complaints because the victim wanted to remain anonymous. This policy has since changed according to WBAL but what about this "Gold Standard" of protection that USA Swimming has been hard selling it's members for the past two years?

This is no Gold Standard" and it is not even a "tin standard." More like a "paper standard" designed to protect USA Swimming from lawsuits rather than offer real protection. It seems so obvious to contact the victim with a declaration that an investigation is forthcoming.

From WBAL:

"... In what has tragically been the standard operating procedure of USA Swimming, there was no follow-up investigation from Colorado Springs. Not one phone call or email was sent to the alleged victim who came forward. Additionally, this same victim approached USA Swimming months prior but was told nothing could be done because she wished to remain anonymous (USA Swimming has apparently changed that policy and now accepts anonymous reporting). 
For USA Swimming not to investigate such a serious charge, especially since it involved a coach associated with this most famed club is staggering – and made even more astounding considering that NBAC acted in such swift fashion.  
NBAC is the literal and symbolic home of United States Swimming athletes. Michael Phelps is the face of the sport and in addition, several other Olympic medalists have trained at the club, among them – Theresa Andrews, Anita Nall, Beth Botsford, Katie Hoff and Allison Schmitt. ..." 

Monday, October 01, 2012

FINA to consider mixed relays at SCM World Championships this December!

Look at FINA! They just might be catching up with Masters swimming?

I think this is a great idea and it will make the sport more watchable.

From Associated Press:
"... The opening meet of the World Cup in Dubai on Tuesday will feature 4x50-meter mixed relays for the first time. Teams will be made up of two men and two women, and it is up to them to decide the order — so, for instance, a woman could race against a man on the anchor leg.

The initiative will be part of all eight World Cup meets. Swimming's governing body, FINA, has said the relays could be introduced at the short-course world championships in Istanbul in December and one day become an Olympic event. ..."