Outside magazine has published its piece about sexual abuse within USA Swimming, a piece that caused the national swimming federation to preemptively respond with a statement last week.
The story, titled “Unprotected,” appears in the December 2014 issue of Outside, and follows alleged abuse victim Anna Strzempko, who claims she was abused by her YMCA coach in 2008.
You can read the story here, but be warned that it’s fairly graphic in its depiction of the alleged assault.
Outside also added on an editor’s note that’s pretty illuminating. The magazine tracked 26 of the 108 people on USA Swimming’s public “banned list,” for those who have been banned by the federation. In a series of short blurbs, the magazine runs down what got the person banned and what their current status is. You can read that part of the story here.
USA Swimming released a statement ahead of the article’s publication, claiming that the article focused on the past without showing USA Swimming’s recent progress in dealing with the issue of sexual abuse.
“With a heavy concentration on the past, readers were not given an accurate picture of the organization’s current state,” USA Swimming President Jim Sheehan wrote.
All in all, the article serves as a sobering reminder of what can go wrong in coach-athlete relationships, an important situation to understand as USA Swimming, coaches, swimmers and parents all do their best to help the sport move past what’s been an incredibly serious issue.