Swimming association suspends former top coach

 

THE Irish Amateur Swimming, Association has suspended the former Olympic swimming coach, Mr George Gibney, from life membership of the association.

A spokeswoman for the IASA said Mr Gibney had been suspended because of sexual abuse allegations which were published in the media in 1993. Mr Gibney, had never refuted the allegations, she said.

The association would write to him in the US, where it believes he now lives. He would be given three months to respond to the allegations, she said. His response, if any, would be discussed at next year's a.g.m.

The a.g.m. of the association, which was held in Galway at the weekend, also voted to adopt a new code of ethics regarding the relationship of coaches and other adults with the children in their care. The move follows protests by parents that the association was slow to act on allegations of sexual abuse by members.

A planned large scale protest at the a.g.m. did not take place, but at least one parent travelled to Galway to voice his concerns.

The spokeswoman denied the association had been slow to act and said child sexual abuse was "not a problem" in the sport.

"There are two coaches we are aware of, no one else," she said. "We are not slow in responding. If the man had been found guilty of something we would have acted immediately."