Like most sports, swimming isn’t free of scandals. And it’s no surprise that three themes appear over and over.
Sex. Drugs. Money.
While most of the sports scandals that we hear about are on an Olympic level, many of these also apply to club, collegiate, high school, or even children’s teams. So if you notice anything suspicious about your neighborhood or school swim team, it can’t hurt to report it or investigate it further.
Many call the USA Swimming Sex Abuse fiasco the worst in the history of sports scandals. I have to say, after reading about it, I agree. And you will too!
For decades, swim coaches have been taking advantage of young female swimmers. Teenage girls who are caught on the wrong end of a power trip. And it’s hard to catch the real culprits when there’s almost no proof or witnesses.
There continue to be allegations of sexual abuse on swim teams of all levels, and the government is finally ready to do something about it after three years of denial.
In response, USA Swimming created Safe Sport, an “enhanced sex abuse prevention program”, with stricter rules, training and education for young swimmers, and an emphasis on reporting any suspicious actions or harassment.
It seems to be working okay, so far. In the past 3 years, 34 coaches have been banned for sexual harassment. Hopefully in the future Safe Sport won’t be necessary. But in the meantime, let’s make sure it keeps doing its job and keeps all of our swimmers safe!
Not as common as either sex abuse or doping, money has played a role in swimming scandals too.
Although it’s rare that someone “throws” a swim meet, or bets millions of dollars on a race, money often acts as an incentive for smaller acts of dishonesty.
Which is worse? Sex abuse, secretly drugging someone, or bribery? What are the worst sports scandals you know of?
Johnny found a love for swimming a little later in life. He really didn't know how to swim too well when he first started...