The sport of swimming’s governing body in the U.S. keeps a public list of coaches and other officials who have been banned for code of conduct violations, including sexual misconduct.
As of Sept. 1, USA Swimming’s list of shame contained the names of 106 members, with at least 73 who were banned for sexual misconduct, often involving multiple victims, OutsideOnline.com says in a report about one former top competitive swimmer who has alleged repeated rapes by her coach to little avail.
Anna Strzempko, now 20 and a student at Wesleyan University, told the magazine she was first raped by her coach at age 13, when she swam for a swim club in Western Massachusetts. She told OutsideOnline's Rachel Sturtz there were roughly 20 assaults until she was 16, when a friend told her parents.
She said she reported the rapes to the Holyoke Police Department, and ultimately the coach was not charged. OutsideOnline said the man lost his coaching job in 2012 and denied ever touching Strzempko.
“People kept saying Anna was doing this for attention,” her mother, Monica Strzempko, told the website. “But what was in this for her? She lost her sport, she lost her community and everyone thought she was crazy.”
Sturtz said in her lengthy report that USA Swimming became one of the first sports governing bodies to create a registry of banned coaches and others because of the number of sexual abuse cases over the years involving swimmers.
USA Swimming reached out to Strezempko and her mother last spring offering to help the family pursue justice.