The ban, which includes Olympic tryouts, was confirmed by USA Swimming spokesman Scott Leightman in an email to USA Today. The decision was reported four days after Turner was sentenced to six months of county jail and probation for three counts of sexual assault. Turner was convicted in March of attacking an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on Stanford's campus. As a freshman, Turner swam for Stanford's men's swimming team, and had hoped to qualify for the upcoming Olympics -- a point many media outlets harped on about, thoughtlessly putting Turner's once-clean image ahead of the victim's sensitivities.
According to Leightman, Turner's membership expired at the end of 2014, and had not been renewed when Turner sexually assaulted his victim in January 2015. The spokesman noted that while USA Swimming has no jurisdiction over non-members, but should Turner attempt to reapply for membership, he'd be turned down. In his email, Leightman wrote:
Brock Turner is not a member of USA Swimming and, should he apply, he would not be eligible for membership ... Had he been a member, he would be subject to the USA Swimming Code of Conduct. USA Swimming strictly prohibits and has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct, with firm Code of Conduct policies in place, and severe penalties, including a permanent ban of membership, for those who violate our Code of Conduct.
Turner's unusually light sentencing for such a crime has drawn national criticism from students, lawmakers, judicial officials and Vice President Joe Biden, with some speculating that his once-"promising" swimming career played a role in his slap-on-the-wrist sentencing. Judge Aaron Persky, who handed down the controversial sentence on the suggestion of a probation officer, happened to be a Stanford graduate and former lacrosse coach for the school.
USA Swimming's ban ensures that Turner, once known as a star athlete in the pool, will never regain that prestigious status granted to male athletes.
When reached for comment, Leightman confirmed USA Today's report to The Huffington Post, and provided this statement via email:
USA Swimming condemns the crime and actions committed by Brock Turner, and all acts of sexual misconduct. Brock Turner is not a member of USA Swimming and is not eligible for membership, now or in the future. His actions violate our Code of Conduct and do not qualify him for membership, now or in the future, given his conviction for a crime involving sexual misconduct.