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American Swimming Coaches Association Statement Following the ABC Program about USA Swimming and Child Sexual Abuse.

Every coach and friend of swimming in the USA agrees that any individuals convicted of sexual abuse or similar offenses against children, deserve the full punishment of the American legal system and want to see those punishments applied. We remind all that we are fortunate enough to live in a country where accusations and conviction are not the same thing.

The best solution to this problem is for victims and their parents to pursue the alleged offenders through the law, and reach final decision in those cases. Convictions are then recorded as misdemeanors or felonies and can be readily found with all background screens that are run by potential employers, sports federations, and related agencies. This allows criminals to be removed from the system.

In addition, employers, sports associations, coaching associations and related bodies should respond to all complaints brought by victims and their parents promptly and effectively, and in a manner that respects the rights of all parties involved.

John Leonard

Executive Director, American Swimming Coaches Association.