Prominent swimming coach Rick Curl has been banned for life by USA Swimming following allegations he had a sexual relationship with a teen swimmer he coached in the 1980s, the AP reports.
Curl is the founder of the well-known Curl-Burke Swim Club, which recently changed its name to the Nation’s Capital Swim Club in the wake of the allegations.
According to an article in The Washington Post, the relationship began at North Bethesda's Georgetown Preparatory School in 1983, when swimmer Kelley Currin was 13 and Curl was 33. The club leased the pool there, according to the report.
Currin recently came forward with the allegations. She said Curl and Currin’s family reached an agreement in 1989 under which the family would not pursue the case publicly and received a $150,000 settlement.
"He cast a spell over me," Currin said, according to the AP, as reported on the Huffington Post. "I don't know why. Looking back, it doesn't make sense. He controlled everything. He controlled what I ate, when I slept, who I could hang out with."
Curl was set to appear Wednesday before USA Swimming’s National Board of Review, the AP reported, but waived his right to challenge the case at the hearing and voluntarily gave up his membership.
Curl was added to USA Swimming’s list of banned individuals.
Bethesda swimmer Katie Ledecky, 15, who took gold in the women’s 800m freestyle at the London Olympics, trains with the Nation’s Captial Swim Club. The club has 15 sites around the Washington, DC, metro region and serves more than 2,000 athletes, according to the AP.
Curl stepped down as the club's CEO in July, according to the report.
"The last couple of months have been a challenging time for our club, coaches, swimmers and facility partners," Tom Ugast, the new CEO of the club, told the AP. "Our new name and ownership build on the many changes we've already made that reflect our uncompromising commitment to the safety of our swimmers, while preserving the talents and strengths that have made our club one of the country's most successful for years."