Former Stanford University Swimming Star Banned by USA Swimming for Life

On June 10, 2016, USA Swimming, the national governing body of competitive swimming, banned ex-Stanford University swimmer, Brock Turner from its membership for life, in response to Turner’s recent criminal sentence convicting him of sexually assaulting an unconscious and intoxicated female.

In January of 2015, Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious female on the University’s campus. According to the court report, Turner had only met his victim minutes before the event, at a fraternity party. Turner and the woman left the party and began kissing on the ground. During the assault, two male students passed by. Upon seeing the motionless woman, the male students yelled at Turner. Turner began to run away, but was tackled by the other men. After searching photos and text messages on Turner’s phone, the police concluded that Turner was “engaging in excessive drinking and drug use,” including LSD, ecstasy, and cannabis. Ten days after his arrest, the University reached an agreement with Turner that he would be withdrawn from the University and banned from the campus.

Turner, a “champion swimmer and Olympic hopeful,” was charged with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person and of two other related sections of the law. Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to a six-month jail term, with the possibility of parole after three months. Turner’s “light conviction,” has outraged many across the nation. USA Swimming’s reaction reflects such national condemnation.

According to USA Swimming spokesperson Scott Leightman, USA Swimming condemns all acts of sexual assault and has “zero tolerance for sexual misconduct.” Turner’s initial USA Swimming membership expired in 2014. However, Turner will be unable to rejoin. Leightman explained that had Turner been a member, he would have been subject to the USA Swimming Code of Conduct and expelled. Turner’s ban from USA Swimming also affects his chances of going to the Olympics. Turner will be unable to compete in sanctioned swim events, “including the U.S. Olympic Trials that select the Olympic team every four years.”

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