Swimming Australia says controversial coach Scott Volkers is not welcome at next month’s Pan Pacific meet on the Gold Coast.
Alleged child abuser Scott Volkers won’t be given coaching accreditation for the Pan Pacific swim meet on the Gold Coast in August, a royal commission has heard.
Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson said on Wednesday the sporting body had informed Brazilian authorities it wouldn’t support Mr Volkers’ accreditation for the event, which it oversees.
In 2002, a number of women came forward alleging Mr Volkers sexually abused them while he was their swimming coach in the 1980s and 1990s.
The charges were subsequently dropped.
“We’ve informed them, if there was a request made for Scott Volkers to be accredited for that event, that we would not be providing accreditation,” Mr Anderson said.
Mr Volkers left Australia to work in Brazil after 2010 and is currently working with one of Australian star James Magnussen’s biggest rivals, 100m freestyle world record holder Cesar Cielo.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is examining how Swimming Australia and other sports and government bodies handled the accusations against Mr Volkers and another former coach, Terry Buck.
Former Swimming Australia CEO, Glenn Tasker, told the commission he wanted to bin an application by Mr Volkers for the position of head women’s coach in 2002.
Mr Volkers applied for the job six months after he was charged and just a day before those charges were dropped.
He got the job with Swimming Australia and held it until 2004.
“Part of me wanted to throw it in the bin,” Mr Tasker said of Mr Volkers’ application.
“But there was, you know, a panel set up to review the applications and so it was sent to the high performance committee for processing.”
Mr Tasker said he discussed the allegations with Mr Volkers – who strenuously denied them.
However, he did not talk to Mr Volkers’ accusers and told the commission he didn’t know he could.
Commission chair Justice Peter McClellen pointed out that a magistrate had ruled there was a prima facie case for Mr Volkers to answer before the Queensland DPP decided to drop the charges.
“Very serious allegations had been made against him; a prima facie case had been found against him, and you chose to accept his denial and nothing more was done,” Justice McClellen said.
“I have to concede that,” Mr Tasker replied.
A 2005 complaint against Mr Volkers by a former member of the national swim team left Mr Tasker feeling horrified, he said, while a Crime and Misconduct Commission report critical of the handling of the Volkers case left him with a “sense of disquiet.”
He told the commission that after restructuring Swimming Australia’s high performance program following the 2004 Mare Nostrum series, managers were told not to use Mr Volkers in any Swimming Australia activities.
“You must have been significantly concerned about Mr Volkers’ conduct,” counsel assisting Caroline Spruce asked.
“I would suggest that I was always concerned about his conduct,” Mr Tasker replied.
“By 2005, our high performance program had been restructured again and he was effectively out of the system.”
In his statement to the commission, Mr Tasker said he didn’t like Mr Volkers personally.
“I found him arrogant and I just don’t like arrogant people,” he said.
The hearings continue.