Code of Conduct (Excerpted from 2012 USA Swimming Rulebook)
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The mission of USA Swimming is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of swimming. USA Swimming grants the privilege of membership to individuals and
organizations committed to that mission. The privilege of membership may, therefore, be withdrawn
or denied by USA Swimming at any time where USA Swimming determines that a member
or prospective member's conduct is inconsistent with the mission of the organization or the best
interest of the sport and those who participate in it.
In order to assist all members to better serve the interests of those who participate in swimming,
USA Swimming has adopted this Code of Conduct.
Any member or prospective member of USA Swimming may be denied membership, censured,
placed on probation, suspended for a definite or indefinite period of time with or without
terms of probation, fined or expelled from USA Swimming if such member violates the provisions
of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct, set forth in 304.3, or aids, abets or encourages another
person to violate any of the provisions of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct.
The following shall be considered violations of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct:
.1 Violation of the right to compete provisions set forth in 301.1 through 301.4.
.2 Violation of the anti-doping provisions set forth in 303.3.
.3 Discrimination in violation of any part of the USA Swimming Rules and Regulations or the
Amateur Sports Act which requires that USA Swimming must provide: "an equal opportunity
to amateur athletes; coaches, trainers, managers, administrators, and officials to participate
in amateur athletic competition, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion,
age, gender, or national origin."
.4 Violation of any of the Athlete Protection Policies set forth in Article 305
.5 Violation of any of the Sexual Misconduct Reporting Requirements set forth in Article 306.
.6 Conviction of, imposition of a deferred sentence for, or any plea of guilty or no contest at any
time, past or present, or the existence of any pending charges, for (i) any felony, (ii) any
offense involving use, possession, distribution or intent to distribute illegal drugs or substances,
(iii) any crime involving sexual misconduct, or (iv) any criminal offense against a
.7 Bullying is prohibited. For these purposes, the term “bullying” shall mean, regardless of
when or where it may occur, the severe or repeated use by one or more USA Swimming
members (“Members”) of an oral, written, electronic or other technological expression,
image, sound, data or intelligence of any nature (regardless of the method of transmission),
or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at any other Member that
to a reasonably objective person has the effect of: (i) causing physical or emotional harm to
the other Member or damage to the other Member’s property; (ii) placing the other Member
in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property; (iii) creating a
hostile environment for the other Member at any USA Swimming activity; (iv) infringing on
the rights of the other Member at any USA Swimming activity; or (v) materially and substantially
disrupting the training process or the orderly operation of any USA Swimming activity
(which for the purposes of this section shall include, without limitation, practices, workouts
and other events of a member club or LSC).
.8 Any inappropriate sexual conduct or advance, or other oral, written, visual, or physical conduct
of a sexual nature directed towards an athlete by (i) a coach member or other non-athlete
member, or (ii) any other adult participating in any capacity whatsoever in the activities
of USA Swimming (whether such adult is a member or not). Any act of sexual harassment,
including without limitation unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and
other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature in connection with or incidental to a USA
Swimming-related activity by any person participating in the affairs or activities of USA
Swimming (whether such person is a member or not) directed toward any member or other
person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming.
.9 The sale or distribution of illegal drugs or the illegal sale or distribution of any substance
listed on FINA's recognized list of banned substances.
.10 The use of illegal drugs in the presence of an athlete, by a coach, official, trainer, or a person
who, in the context of swimming, is in a position of authority over, that athlete.
.11 The providing of alcohol to an athlete by a coach, official, trainer, manager or any other person
where the athlete is under the legal age allowed to consume or purchase alcohol in the
state where the alcohol is provided.
.12 The abuse of alcohol in the presence of an athlete under the age of 18, by a coach, official,
trainer, or a person who, in the context of swimming, is in a position of authority over that
.13 Physical abuse of an athlete by any person who, in the context of swimming, is in a position
of authority over that athlete.
.14 Any act of fraud, deception or dishonesty in connection with any USA Swimming-related
.15 Any non-consensual physical contact, obscene language or gesture, or other threatening
language or conduct directed towards any meet official and which is related to any decision
made by such official in connection with a USA Swimming sanctioned competition.
.16 Action, other than through general advertising, by a coach, owner, officer, volunteer, representative,
or employee of a swim club, or a USA Swimming or LSC employee, either through
direct contact with an athlete or the encouragement of others, to recruit or otherwise encourage
an athlete who is already a member of a USA Swimming member swim club to leave
that club, unless the acting party receives prior written approval to recruit or encourage the
athlete to change affiliation from the designated club representative of the athlete's existing
USA Swimming-member swim club or contact is initiated by the athlete, the athlete's parent
or authorized representative. General advertising includes any information that is:
A Distributed to an identifiable general population where there is a reasonable expectation
that the majority of that population are not current members of USA Swimming, or
B Placed in or on any item that is sold.
In the event of a violation of this section, a sanction may be imposed against any coach,
owner, officer, volunteer, representative or employee of a swim club, or against any such
club, or any combination thereof, as appropriate.
.17 Violation of any team misconduct rule as established by the USOC, USA Swimming, any
Zone or LSC team authority.
.18 Any other material and intentional act, conduct or omission not provided for above, which is
detrimental to the image or reputation of USA Swimming, a LSC or the sport of swimming.