State Title Stripped From Gardner High School’s Girls Swim Team

GARDNER (CBS) – Gardner High School’s girls swim team has been stripped of its 2012 state title.

The 16-time champions were cited by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association for possible rule violations, and their record will be wiped off the books.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jeff Brown reports

The MIAA regulates all Massachusetts school sports.

“Gardner High School used ineligible players,” the MIAA’s Paul Wetzel told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jeff Brown.

Wetzel said most of the players did not attend Gardner High School, but were attracted to the program because the coach Don Lemieux was highly successful. The MIAA also alleges that he recruited players from other parts of Massachusetts.

Wetzel told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that officials were tipped off by an angry parent.

“We take a look at why kids are enrolling in a school. We don’t want it to be for athletic purposes,” he said.

The team’s punishment runs deeper than just having its most recent title stripped.

They have been put on probation for two years.

The probation came about also because there were indications that this has been going on for quite a few years,” Wetzel said.

Wetzel indicated that school officials are cooperating and will clean up their act going forward.

The school declined comment.

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