Storied Hungarian coach György Turi has come under fire as accusations of swimmer abuse have been circulating from both past and current athletes. Turi currently serves as Vice President of the Hungarian Swimming Association and was the primary coach of Olympic icon and recently-retired medalist Laszlo Cseh.
35-year-old Cseh was the first to publicly reveal details of training under Turi at the Kőbánya Swim Club, with the butterfly and IM specialist stating that swimmers would be hit with a wooden stick if goals weren’t met during practice.
Cseh used words such as ‘spiritual terror’, ‘nervousness’ and ‘fighting for survival’ when originally describing allegedly unhealthy training conditions in an interview late last month. (24 H)
Cseh said Turi’s goal was “to break his athletes, which meant that not a single training session went by without someone crying. Then came the yelling, the punishments.”
Since Cseh’s breaking the silence, additional athletes having trained under Turi have also spoken out about his questionable training methods. Dominik Kozma, who trained under Tori until 2014, said that ‘it quite often happened that Turi dragged someone out of the pool by the hair.
Another multi-international medalist, Peter Bernek, stated that Turi had been shouting at him ‘in an unacceptable manner ever since he was 14.’
“He has two faces,” Bernek said of Turi. “The one outside the swimming pool and the one when he enters the pool area. There’s no better word for it: he transforms.”
In a separate interview with 24.HU which was published after the accusations, Turi defended himself by pointing that that different coaching styles and approaches were the norm decades ago. He reportedly did admit to having a stick, ‘but only to show where the athlete made a mistake or to fix their technique.’ (Hungary Today)
Currently, a 5-member committee appointed by the President of the Hungarian Swimming Federation is investigating the charges against Turi, with teh coach saying he would cooperate fully.