Former world champion sues over alleged cover-up of sexual abuse by USA Swimming

first_imgTopics Olympic swimmer describes coach’s ‘abusive, manipulative’ behavior Reuse this content Share on Messenger Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors Smith is suing USA Swimming, alleging the governing body knew her former coach sexually abused her as a minor and covered it up.Kukors Smith filed the lawsuit in Orange County, California. She alleges Sean Hutchison, who began coaching her at a swim club near Seattle, groomed her for sexual abuse when she was 13, started touching and kissing her when she was 16 and engaging in sexual activity with her when she was 17. Kukors Smith is also suing longtime Olympic coach Mark Schubert, saying he failed to report “a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or endangerment.” Kukors Smith, the 2009 world champion in the 200m individual medley, told reporters that “by doing nothing,” USA Swimming “enabled Sean Hutchison to abuse me for a decade.” Hutchison has denied the allegations and has not been charged with a crime. … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Twitter USA Swimming hired a private investigator to look into rumors of a relationship between the two in 2010. The organization said it closed the investigation without finding any misconduct. Critics have said the investigations was cursory and insufficient.The lawsuit says top USA Swimming officials knew in 2005 of allegations of Hutchison having inappropriate relationships with underage swimmers, including Kukors Smith, who was then 16. Officials at the governing body, according to the lawsuit, also manipulated a background screening system to shield coaches accused of abuse.“Those at USA Swimming need to change the culture of protecting predator coaches over young and vulnerable athletes such as myself,” Kukors Smith said. Support The Guardian Swimming Share on Facebook Read more Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Since you’re here… US sports newslast_img

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