A statement from USA Swimming this morning confirms that the federation received a tip and conducted an investigation into an allegedly inappropriate relationship between coach Sean Hutchison and National Team swimmer Ariana Kukors in 2010.
The governing body said that Kukors' comments this week were the first indication they had that Hutchison abused her when she was a minor, and they voiced support for her and other athletes "in their quest to break their silence and confront their horrific experiences". All three "unequivocably" denied the existence of a sexual or romantic relationship at the time, according to USA Swimming.
"I felt like I needed to tell somebody". That seems to be the case once again in the world of sports.
Hutchinson responded with his own statement: "I absolutely deny having any sexual or romantic relationship with her before she was old enough to legally make those decisions for herself. Prior to that time, I did nothing to "groom" her". She also qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, finishing fifth in the event.
He added: "I deeply regret that she would make these wild allegations all these years later". "Sean Hutchison has stepped down as an executive with King and has had no direct interaction with our swimmers for a very long time".
In a statement on Thursday, Michael Brooks, the head coach at the club, said that news of the allegations "broke our collective hearts".
However, Hoelzer said Hutchison was partly why she retired in 2010.
He met Ms. Kukors when he was a coach at King Aquatic Club in Seattle, according to Ms. Kukors's statement.
"I never thought I would share my story because, in so many ways, just surviving was enough". I'd never been physical with anyone before but I now found myself alone with him, engaging in sexual acts and trying to hide my embarrassment when he sat in the women's locker room and watched me shower. Not for the sake of you knowing my story, but for the little girls and boys whose lives and future hangs in the grasp of a horribly powerful and manipulative person.
In a statement released yesterday, USA Swimming said Kukors' recent reports marked they first time they had heard of Hutchinson abusing her while she was a minor. "That their parents, mentors, and guardians are better able to spot the signs of grooming and realize its tragic consequences before it's too late". Her allegations come as America's Olympic sports organisations are beset by accusations from victims of former USA Gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar, and members of Congress, of failing to protect aspiring young Olympians from sexual abuse.
The Register reported that the Department of Homeland Security with assistance from the Des Moines Police Department conducted a search warrant on Hutchison's apartment south of Seattle.
The media and U.S. Olympics Committee must take the allegations against Sean Hutchison seriously.
Hutchinson and Kukors both denied they were having a sexual relationship, something that would be against US swimming policy. And if USA Swimming doesn't want to turn into USA Gymnastics, then they need to do whatever it takes to clean house within their organization. The team told Seattle PI that it recovered electronics that may contain evidence that the coach sexually exploited swimmers, including Kukors. The crimes happened between 2002 and 2007, when the victim turned 18.
The coach under investigation left a Southern California program where he trained young women on the US team in 2010 after speculation that he was sexually involved with a swimmer.