Hungarian swim coach Kiss resigns amid outcry over 1961 rape case

Thu Apr 7, 2016 12:58pm EDT
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By Marton Dunai

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungarian national swim coach Laszlo Kiss resigned on Thursday after an old conviction for a sex crime resurfaced in local media earlier this week, reigniting a public outcry.

The Hungarian Swimming Association had stood by Kiss, 75, who was convicted in 1961 and served 20 months of a three-year prison sentence for taking part in the gang-rape of a young swimmer.

But in a statement quoted by national news agency MTI on Thursday, Kiss said he was stepping down as national coach.

"Considering the interests of Hungarian sports, and my ill health due to the attacks against me, I decided to resign as of today," he said.

He added in his statement that he had been jailed based on fabricated charges in a politically motivated lawsuit by then communist-ruled Hungary and he said he would fight to clear his name.

"I state that I never under any circumstances committed the crime that was in the verdict," he said.

Kiss, who was training the Hungarian swimming team for the 2016 Rio Olympics, was convicted in 1961 with two other swimmers for attacking the young swimmer.

After serving part of the three-year jail sentence, he returned to swimming and became a successful coach, guiding such stars as five-time Olympic gold medalist Krisztina Egerszegi.   Continued...