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5 Cleveland State University swimmers suspended from competition for drug use, coach resigns

Posted at 12:27 PM, Mar 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-22 12:27:59-04

CLEVELAND — Cleveland State University’s swim coach and two associate athletic directors have resigned from their positions following an internal investigation into allegations of drug use by multiple swimmers.

Five swimmers were suspended from competition, according to the university. The swimmers were accused of using cocaine and marijuana.

Coach Paul Graham, head coach of swimming and diving, resigned after the allegations surfaced.

Graham wrote in his resignation letter that "in the best interest of student-athletes, I think the timing of the announcement (his resignation) is crucial. I would like for it to be announced on Feb. 18, 2019 and effective Feb. 28, 2019. This would allow the student-athletes to remain focused on the conclusion of their season and be able to perform to their highest capabilities."

Associate athletic director Virnette House-Browning also resigned.

House-Browning said in her resignation letter that she is "proud of the contributions I have made to the University and the success of our student-athletes during my tenure."

Associate athletic director Kathleen Worthington Wilson resigned as well. Her resignation letter didn't contain a statement to the school. Wilson had been in her position since August 2017, according to the university's website.

School officials released the following statement:

In early February, allegations of drug use involving members of our men’s swimming and diving program were brought to our attention. Upon learning of these allegations, we conducted an internal review, determined they had merit and acted promptly to address them. Head coach Paul Graham resigned immediately, and two senior athletic department officials resigned from the program following our internal review. Members of the swim team who violated team rules were disciplined in accordance with university policy.
We have begun a thorough review of our policies and intend to reinforce full compliance with these policies. We will not compromise on our commitment to upholding the utmost integrity in our athletics program and the well-being of our student athletes.