FINA and LEN have suspended official Flavio A. Bomio, while it investigates allegations of sexual abuse committed as a coach.
Bomio’s suspension came after two adult victims came forward alleging that Bomio sexually assaulted them, as minors, when they were members of the SN Bellinzona squad that he coaches. Bomio served as the Honorary Secretary of the Technical Open Water Swimming Committee for FINA and LEN, the governing body of European Aquatics, likewise suspended him from his role as the Chairman of the Open Water Technical Committee.
Bomio was formerly the National Team head coach of Switzerland and coached them at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. According to European media sources, he was placed under arrest last week.
Bomio was responsible in large part for the FINA Open Water 10km World Cup series, and has served as a judge at every World and European Open Water Championship since 1999. He was nominated in 2009 as the Open Water Swimming Man of the Year by the website Open Water Source (though he didn’t win that award). Among his most successful pupils was Swiss swimmer Flavia Rigamonti, who won three 1500m World Championship silver medals in the 2000’s (and swam collegiately for SMU).
It will be interesting to see how FINA handles the situation, and if these accusations open up a proverbial can-of-worms like they did when former USA Swimming officials and coaches were accused of the similar grievances.
FINA has updated the Technical Open Water Swimming Committee listing on their website, and also put out the following press release:
Lausanne (SUI), December 22, 2011 – Following information received from the Swiss Swimming Federation and articles in the media, the FINA Executive decides to suspend Mr. Flavio Bomio from his position of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee Honorary Secretary with immediate effect.
FINA supports the Swiss Swimming Federation and equally strongly condemns sexual abuse of minors.