USA Swimming Exec Susan Woessner Resigns Amid Sexual Abuse Controversy

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2018

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - APRIL 08:  General view of the Olympic Aquatics Stadium during the inauguration which was attended by the President Dilma Rousseff at the Barra Olympic Park on April 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
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Susan Woessner, the director of USA Swimming's Safe Sport initiative, resigned Thursday amid a sexual abuse scandal that has enveloped the organization.

According to Swimming World, Woessner wrote in her resignation letter that she once kissed former coach Sean Hutchison, who was recently accused of sexual assault by former Olympian Ariana Kukors, and did not disclose that information before she was involved in an investigation regarding his conduct. 

Specifically, Woessner wrote her "role was to provide contact information for potential witnesses to the investigator, provide status updates from outside legal to then-executive director Chuck Wielgus, and at the request of outside legal, contact potential witnesses and ask them to speak with the investigator." 

Woessner added that she kissed Hutchison "on a single occasion" and "never had a sexual or romantic relationship of any kind with any USA swimming coach." 

On Feb. 12, Kukors released a statement regarding Hutchison's alleged abuse. 

"I never thought I would share my story because, in so many ways, just surviving was enough," she said, per CBS Los Angeles. "I was able to leave a horrible monster and build a life I could have never imagined for myself. But in time, I’ve realized that stories like my own are too important to go unwritten."

Hutchison, who resigned from his post with USA Swimming in 2010, has denied the allegations. 

The news comes on the heels of an investigation from the Orange County Register's Scott M. Reid that revealed "USA Swimming repeatedly missed opportunities to overhaul a culture within American swimming where the sexual abuse of underage swimmers by their coaches and others in positions of power within the sport was commonplace and even accepted by top officials and coaches."