Rick Curl, a prominent swimming coach and founder of the Curl-Burke Swim Club, has taken a leave of absence from his position in the wake of allegations he had a sexual relationship with a teen swimmer in the 1980s, the swim club announced.
"In response to the article that appeared in the Washington Post today, Rick Curl has decided to take a leave of absence effective immediately," read a statement on the club's website Wednesday.
"We strive to create an atmosphere that is safe and nurturing to all of our swimmers," the statement continued. "This article is painful for our club."
Curl-Burke trains thousands of swimmers in Maryland/DC/Virginia. The club has 10 training locations in Northern Virginia, and Curl-Burke swimmer Katie Ladecky, 15, will swim the womens 800 freestyle at the 2012 Olympics in London.
According to an article in The Washington Post, the relationship began at Georgetown Preparatory School in Bethesda in 1983, when swimmer Kelley Currin was 13 and Curl was 33.
Currin is now 43 and wanted to tell her story of the four-year relationship after signing a non-disclosure statement many years ago, The Post reported.
Curl and Currin’s family reached an agreement in 1989 under which the family would not pursue the case publicly, The Post reports.
USA Swimming, of which the club is a member, has requested an “emergency disciplinary hearing” against Curl, according to the article.