Sunny Garcia, surf legend and newly minted Ironman, posted a strident accusation against multiple triathlon world champion Chris McCormack of Australia. Mr. Garcia's pointed statements were posted on Instagram on Saturday, along with a picture of Mr. McCormack, and reads:
"I've been waiting to post something about this man @maccanow while I was in Kona for Iron man this weak excuse for a human hurt a woman that I love dearly and some how got to leave our country without the police even questioning him witch is baffling but I know what you did Macca and and I hope my friend comes out and tells her story because sitting in the police station with her dealing with that and later having to take her to the hospital makes me wonder how a monster like you can walk around acting like you did nothing wrong but I believe justice will come to you and I hope that anyone that sponsors you or does anything with you kicks you to the curb because you deserve at least that and I pray to God that your daughters never come across a man like you #JusticeShouldBeServed #youcantlieyourwayoutofthis #iknowwhatyoudidmacca #ChrisMcCormack"
It is the policy of this portal not to make public allegations absent charges filed or a public accusation by an alleged victim. There has been neither to the best of our knowledge, which is why there has been no story prior to this.
That established, Mr. Garcia's statement on Instagram has been widely read. There were more than 800 "likes" within 4 hours of its posting, along with multiple messages, mostly in support of the statement, including from some in the triathlon industry. Mr. Garcia has a high profile in sport. For this reason we are covering the Instagram post as news, along with tangential facts that we know.
Our coverage herein is oblique, short on specifics, and short on names and associations, out of concern for the privacy of the alleged victim. A party close to and in touch with a representative of the alleged victim was made aware by Slowtwitch that it was covering the story. This occurred within several days of the alleged incident, and Slowtwitch has not been contacted by the alleged victim or any representative. We have not made a second reach-out in the interest of privacy.
I sent an email to Mr. McCormack shortly after the Hawaiian Ironman, and no response has been forthcoming.
Mr. Garcia himself became a figure in the story because of his connection to the person he describes in his Instagram account. He and a prominent figure in the triathlon manufacturing industry were arrested on Thursday night prior to Saturday's Hawaiian Ironman by the Hawaii County police. Each was charged with several minor counts. The arrests were the culmination of a disagreement that grew more heated, according to the person arrested along with Mr. Garcia, between those two on the one hand and yet another triathlon industry executive. The disagreement revolved around a company's proper posture following an event placing an employee in significant distress or peril. The arrests came as a result of the escalation of the disagreement.
The charges against these two are still pending according to Hawaii County Police, and are misdemeanors. Each was released on posting $1000 bail. These charges are peripheral, but proximate to, the accusation made by Mr. Garcia. Contrary to persistent rumors, no physical assault occurred between these industry figures and the charges do not include assault.
I can report on the above because I viewed incident reports from the Hawaii County Police on Friday night before the Ironman. These are the only charges pending, that is to say, while the tone of Mr. Garcia's posts speaks to a serious event, to the best of my knowledge no charges are pending against Chris McCormack. I have been in occasional contact with various Hawaii police department persons as well as the Kona division's office of the prosecuting attorney. The Incident Daily Bulletin produced by the Hawaii County Police show no charges filed against Mr. McCormack in the several days following the alleged incident.
As to Mr. Garcia's phrase that Mr. McCormack "some how got to leave our country," I asked the prosecuting attorney whether it is the policy of the Kona Police to place into custody someone who may be a flight risk, and the answer was no. The prosecuting attorney (the term of art for what outside of Hawaii might be called the district attorney) also told Slowtwitch that charges in such a case are not always immediately filed.