Six American swimmers have sued the us swimming Federation over sexual abuse suffered by their coaches.
Debra Grodenski, Suzette Moran, Tracy Palmero and three other athletes who requested anonymity filed charges against former US team Director Everett Uchiyama, as well as former national team coaches Mitch Ivey and Andrew king.
The lawsuits allege that representatives of the US swimming Federation knew about the abuse by ivy, Uchiyama and king, but refused to take action, resulting in dozens of minors being sexually assaulted and harassed.
Grodenski said that king abused her in the 1980s, when she was between 11 and 16 years old. The woman said that because of what happened to her, she suffered from depression for a long time, and noted that the damage caused to her by king extends to her family and friends.
In 2010, king was sentenced to 40 years in prison after being found guilty of multiple counts of child molestation.
Moran stated that Mitch Ivey started a relationship with her when she was 12 years old, and this led to her becoming pregnant at 17. Her coach forced her to have an abortion a few months before the 1984 Olympic games.
“The swimming Federation did nothing about ivy’s violence. As a result, I suffered from years of depression, low self-esteem, and panic attacks. Today, I still suffer from an injury that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Swimming in the US needs to clean up and get rid of the coaches and managers who created a culture that condoned sexual violence,” Moran said.
Palmero, 46, was abused by Uchiyama in the early 1990s. She believes that other coaches on her team were aware of the abuse but did nothing about it.
Grodenski, Moran and Palmero said that a similar culture continues to exist in American swimming.
“Some people still hold senior positions in swimming today. Replace them with people who are not involved in violence – that’s what we should do,” said lawyer Richard Allard.