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Swimming Australia to conduct sexual misconduct review

Swimming Australia to conduct sexual misconduct review
December 5, 2014

Swimming Australia has announced that it will conduct a full review of allegations of sexual misconduct involving coaches, officials and swimmers that have purported to have taken place over previous decades.

The announcement, in a statement from Swimming Australia Chairman John Bertrand, came in the wake of calls for action from some of the biggest names in Australian swimming history, including Shane Gould, Dawn Fraser and Duncan Armstrong, who recently referred to “well-known stories and incidents (that) have not been addressed.”

Writing that this was "an overdue initiative", Bertrand explained that an independent panel made up of "respected people who can assess and conclude on cases as they unfold" would be established.

Aiming to turn over a new leaf in its governance, Bertrand explained "within this community, the trust and integrity within our sport is paramount – our athletes and their safety is paramount and the health of the sport is our responsibility.”

Bertrand explained that search for world best practice it is examining USA Swimming and their Safe Sport program to develop its own processes, adding "we will be appointing a distinguished, retired judge to head up this panel.

“The success of this initiative will be measured by the outcomes. We will stand by that.”

The 1988 Olympic 200 metre freestyle champion, Duncan Armstrong told The Sunday Telegraph last month "we have had some disappointing moments in Australian Swimming that we have not addressed.”

Fraser called on the Swimming Australia and Australian Coaches and Teacher’s Association to employ more stringent education procedures to ensure the protection of athletes.

Gould, the only woman ever to win five solo medals at one Olympic Games in the pool, her Munich 1972 tally including three golds, commented to The Sunday Telegraph that victims of inappropriate behaviour should be located and helped “no matter what the cost”.

Gould also noted that all related processes should be independent and not be handled by sports authorities.

27th October 2014 - SWIMMING AUSTRALIA ENCOURAGES POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY COACHING INITIATIVE

8th July 2014 - CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ROYAL COMMISSION SHIFTS INQUIRY TO SWIMMING COACHES

24th April 2013 - ATHLETICS AND SWIMMING SUFFER REDUCTIONS IN ASC FUNDING

26th March 2013 - YMCA ADVANCES INDIGENOUS LEADERS’ WATER SAFETY AND LIFESAVING SKILLS 

20th February 2013 - SECOND REPORT SLAMS MANAGEMENT OF AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING

15th August 2012 - SWIMMING AUSTRALIA’S INCENTIVE MODEL WAS A FAILURE


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