György Turi, the longtime Hungarian swim coach that recently faced abuse claims from several of his former athletes, has resigned from his post as the Vice President of the Hungarian Swimming Association.
Turi announced his resignation in an open letter published in local media, and added that the allegations made his situation “unmanageable” and put the organization’s reputation at risk.
“As of today, I resign from the position of technical vice-president, board member and chairman of the training committee of the Hungarian Swimming Association (MUSZ),” Turi said.
Hungarian Swimming Association President Sándor Wladár also made a statement on Thursday, saying there’s no room for abuse in the sport and that Turi stepped down before the committee’s investigation was complete.
Wladár put together a five-member committee to investigate Turi following the claims being made.
“As I promised on the day of my election: there is no place for any form of abuse in Hungarian swimming,” Wladár said.
“Although it is an undoubted fact that Kőbánya SC, led by György Turi, has achieved fantastic success in the pool in recent years and even decades, the statements of the former competitors cast a serious shadow over the results. That is why I consider the only acceptable decision that, even before the report of the committee of inquiry, György Turi took responsibility and left the position of professional vice-president of the association.”
Wladár added that the committee will continue its investigation despite Turi’s resignation.
“We don’t want to give the impression that we want to sweep anything under the rug at all,” he said. “We expect the committee not only to investigate the current case, but also to make recommendations that provide even more serious guarantees for finding those responsible, protecting young athletes and, very importantly, helping the victims. ”
Cseh said that swimmers would be hit with a wooden stick if goals weren’t met during practice, and used words such as “spiritual terror”, “nervousness,” and “fighting for survival” in an interview with Hungarian outlet 24.hu in October.
Kozma said that Turi would sometimes drag swimmers out of the pool by the hair, while Bernek said that the coach had been shouting at him “in an unacceptable manner” ever since he was 14.
Turi, 64, coached Cseh for the majority of his career, up until 2014. Cseh won six Olympic medals over the course of his career, all while training with Turi, and he also won 13 LC World Championship medalists, nine of which were won while swimming under Turi.
Cseh, 35, retired after competing in his fifth Olympic Games this past summer in Tokyo.
Turi initially defended himself following the accusations, telling 24.hu that different coaching styles and approaches were the norm decades ago. He also admitted to having a stick, but only to show athletes how to fix their technique.
He also said that his yelling was necessary due to the nature of the sport (athletes’ heads being primarily underwater) and added that he parted ways with most of his swimmers on good terms.