Rick Curl accepts provisional suspension from USA Swimming

August 1, 2012

Prominent D.C. area swim coach Rick Curl voluntarily accepted a provisional suspension from USA Swimming on Wednesday, a spokesman for the organization said.

Curl, who faces charges that he sexually molested a teen girl under his tutelage at the Curl-Burke Swim Club more than 25 years ago, waived his right to the emergency hearing scheduled for Wednesday night, according to the spokeswoman, Jamie Fabos Olsen.

Curl did not admit guilt and retained the right to contest USA Swimming’s request for a lifetime ban from the sport, she said. He is scheduled to face a full hearing before USA Swimming’s board of review Sept. 19.

Curl’s attorney, Thomas J. Kelly, confirmed the action but declined to comment further. Wednesday’s hearing was scheduled to be conducted via conference call.

Curl, who announced last week he was taking a temporary leave of absence, resigned his position as president of the club he founded in 1978, the club announced in a statement Wednesday night. The club has been renamed CUBU Swim Club, the statement said; the club has taken down all references to Curl-Burke Swim Club and Curl on its Web site.

In the statement released by acting executive director Tom Ugast, the club said it was creating a separate account for club fees to ensure that swimmers were paying only for coaching, pools and related operating activities.

Another coach with ties to the club, Noah Rucker, was suspended last month in an emergency hearing by USA Swimming, Fabos Olsen confirmed. Rucker was arrested in June and charged with having inappropriate sexual contact with a 17-year-old swimmer while he was coaching at James Madison High in 2001.

In a story in The Washington Post last week, Kelley Currin, who trained under Curl as Kelley Davies in the 1980s, said Curl molested her for four years beginning when she was 13. Currin, her parents and Curl signed a 1989 agreement in which the family agreed not to take criminal action against him or disclose the alleged abuse in exchange for $150,000 over 11 years. The Post reviewed the agreement. Currin provided the document to USA Swimming and gave an interview to a USA Swimming investigator, she said.

Correspondent Bryan Flaherty contributed to this report.

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