Athlete Sues Coach, USA Swimming for Abuse
Swimmer: Sport's governing body didn't protect me
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2010 3:12 AM CDT
Jancy Thompson says she was sexually abused by her swimming coach for five years from the age of 15.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

(Newser) – A former swimmer who says her coach sexually abused her for 5 years starting when she was just 15 has filed suit against the coach and USA Swimming. Jancy Thompson says the abuse from coach Norm Havercroft forced her to give up the sport she loved and abandon her dream of becoming an Olympian, the San Jose Mercury News reports. USA Swimming, the national governing body of the sport, allowed Havercroft to continue coaching despite abuse allegations, according to her lawyer.

Thompson says that in addition to sexual abuse, Havercroft also publicly humiliated her by making her swim wearing a dog collar attached to a leash he was holding when she didn't meet his standards. Thompson, now 28, says she gained the courage to speak out after another abused swimmer came forward. USA Swimming has named 36 coaches who have been banned for molesting young athletes, although Havercroft wasn't among them.

View 1 more image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Athlete Sues Coach, USA Swimming for Abuse is...
5%
3%
4%
70%
2%
16%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 5 comments
Michael
Aug 12, 2010 7:22 AM CDT
//USA Swimming, the national governing body of the sport, allowed Havercroft to continue coaching despite abuse allegations, according to her lawyer.// Not to be unsympathetic to anyone who has been abused, but what was USA Swimming supposed to do? Remove any coach based on an accusation alone? What about due process for the accused? If he'd been convicted of something, or if an investigation was done by USA Swimming and they found wrongdoing (even if it didn't lead to conviction) then of course, remove them. Do we really want organizations to fire people based solely on possibly fraudulent and vindictive accusations?
finkster
Aug 12, 2010 3:41 AM CDT
And I thought this only happened with the Catholic Church....
myflap.blow
Aug 12, 2010 3:37 AM CDT
i could make a religious joke but this is just too terrible. *Newser: you need a "WTF" selection next to "Depressing"! (and you can even balance the little grid with a "Is This Really News?" button)