SportsEvents Magazine

JUN 2018

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Page 10 of 67 June 2018 11 and well-being of our members, and that is paramount in everything we do," the letter stated. "USA Swimming strives to better educate and prevent abuse within the sport and to provide the best possible expe- rience for its members, in the safest possible environments." It was signed by James Sheehan, USA Swimming board of directors chair, and Tim Hinchey III, USA Swimming president and CEO. The letter stated that since 2010, [USA Swimming has] made great efforts in education, awareness and oversight with USA Swimming's Safe Sport program. "Safe Sport Cham- pions are raising awareness of abuse and prevention and doing education at the zone, LSC [local swimming committee], and club levels," the letter continued. Smith was a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic swim team and former world record holder in the 200-meter individual medley. She was also a world champion in the 100-meter indi- vidual medley, and has said in statements that the organization was aware that the athlete and coach were engaged in a sexual relationship when she was 16, in 2006. According to the lawsuit: "Despite the 'open secret' status of the relationship between (swimming coach Sean Hutchi- son) Hutchison and plaintiff as of the 2006 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and the 2007 World Championships no one reported this reasonable suspicion of child abuse or endangerment to the author- ities, no one did anything to protect plaintiff as a minor from inappropriate grooming and ultimate molestation, and no one did anything to repudiate Hutchison's conduct to halt and/ or arrest the ongoing trauma which continued well into plaintiff's adulthood." In 2010, USA Swimming investigated the relationship, according to ESPN reports, and found that Smith was 21 at the time and Hutchison was 39. Both Smith and Hutchison denied the relationship and the investigation was closed. In response to the recently filed lawsuit, USA Swimming released a statement: "As expressed earlier this year, we respect Ariana Kukors' bravery in stepping forward and sharing her story. We have been in reg- ular contact with her legal team over the last several months and will continue to work with them and Ariana through this process." Hutchison unequivocally denied the allegations. He said in a statement in February issued by his attorney, Brad Meryhew, that he had been ► t SPORTS Talk

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