British Swimming has confirmed that the independent report into allegations of bullying against National Performance Director Bill Sweetenham has largely cleared him of any wrongdoing. In a statement issued today, the governing body said “British Swimming can confirm that, broadly speaking, the Report suggests allegations of bullying are not proven.”
“However, the Report has identified a number of issues which will need to be discussed with Mr Sweetenham in an appropriate fashion upon his return from Australia and thereafter matters will need to be carefully considered by the British Swimming Managing Board.”
While no details of these issues have been released, it has been speculated by sources close to British Swimming that, dependent on the outcome of the January discussions, Sweetenham may leave his current post.
Meanwhile, critics of the Australian’s approach have attacked the thoroughness of the investigation which did not meet with many of the swimmers named in the original Times Article which sparked the enquiry.
“He received representation by e-mail, by phone and by letter from a number of people who contributed to his investigation,” said ASA chief executive David Sparkes who went on to say that “We will sit down with Bill at the end of the month to see if any lessons can be learned”
One of the swimmers named by Matthew Syed as a victim of bullying, Jaime King express her disappointment that she didn’t meet directly with investigator Bill Roberts and told the BBC “If you are going to do an inquiry, things need to be done properly “In my mind I had him coming down to see me and doing it formally rather than doing it haphazardly over the internet”
However, the former University of Bath swimmer indicated that she would accept the report’s findings and conceded that Sweetenham had “done a lot of good” for British swimming.
“I just think some of his ways are wrong and the way he treats people sometimes is wrong,” she said.