László Kiss has resigned from his position as Hungary’s national swimming team coach after repeated calls to do so over his role in the 1961 gang rape of a young female swimmer.
“In the interest of Hungarian national sport and my health … I have decided to resign,” the 75 year-old said after crime portal privatkopo.hu published an article describing how in 1961 Kiss and two other swimmers gang raped a female swimmer. All three men were sentenced to three years in prison but were released after serving 20 months.
Mr. Kiss later told the daily Népszabadság that he had never attempted to hide the fact that he was convicted for the crime and that he would never get over the case. The Hungarian Swimming Association declared its support for Mr. Kiss, who also coached five-time world champion Katinka Hosszú. He continues to insist that he was was falsely accused in 1961 and convicted in a “show trial”. He said the unjust conviction was later used to smear and discredit him. The former team coach said he had “taken the necessary steps” to prove his innocence and is exploring the possibility of asking for a retrial.
Mr. Kiss, who has originally planned on serving as head coach until the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, thanked his supporters for standing by him “through thick and thin”. He has also resigned as the deputy mayor of Százhalombatta, near Budapest, a position he has held since November 2014.
In January, it was revealed that he will continue coaching Hungary’s national swimming team after having initially tendered his resignation in the midst of a highly publicised brawl between the country’s swimming federation and Katinka Hosszú, the world’s number-one female swimmer, after receiving the backing of 100 swimming professionals and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
photo: Gábor Fuszek/blikk.hu