Indianapolis, IN – Indiana Swimming has reached settlement agreements with Ken Stopkotte, FAST Head Coach, and the Fishers Area Swimming Tigers (FAST) as it relates to multiple Code of Conduct violations. The violations were outlined in a Complaint filed back on March 22, 2010 with the Indiana Swimming Board of Review as outlined in the organization’s bylaws. The complaint documented 180 swim times that had allegedly been altered or inserted into the final results of three meets held by FAST in February 2010. This included the submission of thirtyone (31) disqualified swims as legal swims. To the best of Indiana Swimming’s and USA Swimming’s knowledge, there have never been any violations of this type or magnitude involving final results of swim meets. The investigation into the complaint began on March 1st as the result of a phone call to the Indiana Swimming office questioning some duplicate swims in the USA Swimming database.
Indiana Swimming sought an immediate suspension of Coach Stopkotte back in March, but the suspension was not awarded at that time. Over the last five months, Coach Stopkotte has denied any wrong doing and instead claimed that the Complaint was a retaliatory action forStopkotte speaking out against USA Swimming and Indiana Swimming in another legal matter. Stopkotte and his attorney Ed Williams got the matter moved out of the Indiana Swimming
Board of Review process and into AAA Arbitration as defined by the USOC. Arbitration was set for Monday, August 30th in Indianapolis. Prior to the arbitration hearing, Indiana Swimming via its attorney, Tom Schultz, reached separate agreements with both Ken Stopkotte and FAST.
The agreement with Ken Stopkotte involves him admitting he was the person solely responsible for the fraud, deception and dishonesty as it relates to the swim times. Stopkotte has also admitted that despite his previous statements to the press, the Indiana Swimming investigation which resulted in the complaint was in no way retaliatory for any of Stopkotte’s other statements or actions regarding Indiana Swimming or USA Swimming. The agreed upon penalties for Stopkotte are a two-year ban from USA Swimming membership, a five-year ban from Indiana Swimming and undisclosed financial penalties.
The agreement with FAST involves a financial penalty as the club holding the sanctions for the meets in question. FAST has also agreed to work with Indiana Swimming to try and prevent this type of thing from happening in the future. FAST Board members will attend Indiana Swimming workshops on Swim Club Leadership and Governance as well as their meet personnel attending workshops on Meet Management. FAST will not be able to host any sanctioned meets until the meet management workshop has been completed. It is anticipated that FAST meet personnel will have completed the meet management workshop prior to their October Invitational scheduled to be held at Fishers High School.
Indiana Swimming is pleased to come to an agreement with both parties in this complaint so that the swimming community can move forward. The financial penalties involved were important to Indiana Swimming to ensure that the members of Indiana Swimming did not bear the burden of adjudicating this valid complaint. It is unfortunate that Stopkotte chose to deceive not only Indiana Swimming and its member swimmers but also his own swimmers and parents. Even though Indiana Swimming sent the Complaint to both Stopkotte and FAST back in March, it became apparent only in the last week that Stopkotte hid from the FAST Board the true nature of the charges and the financial penalties involved. At that point FAST engaged their own attorney and began discussions with Indiana Swimming to try and resolve the matter separate from Stopkotte. Indiana Swimming looks forward to working with FAST to help the club continue to serve the Fishers, Hamilton County and Indiana swimming communities.
From ASCA Executive Director John Leonard: “While we are sad that any swimming coach would engage in deliberate and destructive cheating of this nature, which destroys the integrity of our sport and stains the integrity of every professional swimming coach, and CHEATS other athletes out of legitimate placings, results, and standings, we applaud the courage and strength of Indiana Swimming in pursuing this case to its conclusion, particularly in light of the determination of both local and national media to INCORRECTLY link the punishment of this coach to his comments placing himself in a “heroic” light in defense of his own program. Note that as a part of this final judgement, Mr. Stopkotte admits that his punishment had NOTHING to do with his comments regarding USA Swimming and child protection issues.” His attempted linking of his blatant cheating on swim times submission and his gratuitious comments on a TV program in the spring related to the serious issue of child protection issues, is particularly disturbing.
Mr. Stopkotte’s ASCA membership and certification has also been suspended as a result of this finding, as is our common practice, following an LSC or National Governing body banning. This individual has been proven to be both a cheat, and a liar (in his previous comments relating to the reason for his punishment by Indiana and USA Swimming. Both are clear violations of the ASCA Code of Conduct.”