Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu has filed a libel lawsuit against writer Casey Barrett and the parent company of Swimming World Magazine for an editorial published on Swimming World‘s website alleging that Hosszu should be suspected of doping.
The editorial, titled “Are Katinka Hosszu’s Performances Being Aided?” was published last May as an opinion piece by Barrett, a former Olympic swimmer for Canada who has been writing for a documentary about East German doping at the 1976 Olympics.
Despite noting there was no proof and that Hosszu had never failed a doping test, the story pointed to Hosszu’s legendary endurance and her ability to swim multiple events back-to-back as evidence that should at least start a conversation about Hosszu allegedly using outside means to improve her performances in the pool.
Hosszu responded very quickly after the piece was published, denying the use of any illegal methods in her swimming career and mulling legal action against Barrett and Swimming World.
Last week, Hosszu officially filed a suit against both Barrett and Sports Publications International Incorporated, which produces Swimming World Magazine and its companion website.
Hosszu will sue for Personal Injury: Assault Libel & Slander after filing with the Phoenix Division Office of the Arizona District Court. (Sports Publications International is based out of Phoenix, Arizona). Bridget Bade is listed as the presiding judge in the case.
Hosszu’s lawyers, reached for comment, said it was their policy not to discuss the legal aspects of the case in the press and only recounted the events that caused the suit to be filed.
“When Swimming World did not retract the piece, and after we learned that the publication knew the allegations were untrue, we felt we had no choice but to pursue legal action,” said attorney Todd Roberts.
Barrett said he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment on it at this time.
SwimSwam has reached out to Swimming World for comment with no response. SwimSwam will update if a response is given.