COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, February 14. A full investigation by an independent private investigator found no evidence that Coach Sean Hutchison had an inappropriate relationship with an athlete.
USA Swimming initiated the investigation after published news referenced rumors of inappropriate behavior by the nationally-recognized coach toward an adult athlete. The investigator was hired by USA Swimming's legal counsel.
"While it is not our policy to investigate in the absence of a formal complaint, we acted in the best interest of our athletes, coaches and organization to conduct a full investigation into this situation," said Chuck Wielgus, USA Swimming's executive director. "Additionally, after we received the report, we felt it was important to correct the false rumors."
"We value the well-being of all of our members and false statements or rumors can be extremely detrimental to our athlete protection efforts," said Susan Woessner, USA Swimming's Athlete Protection Officer. "We want to encourage those with credible and specific information to always come forward, and those who would spread false rumors disrespect this effort."
The summary of the investigator's report reads in part, "there was no evidence to substantiate the existence of an inappropriate sexual or romantic relationship between Coach Hutchison and the athlete … This is the same conclusion reached by the investigator hired by the Fullerton Aquatic Sports Team."
USA Swimming has augmented its Athlete Protection efforts over the past year, adding an anonymous reporting structure, expanding the criminal background check requirement, committing to requiring athlete protection education for its members and requiring members to report sexual misconduct when specific and credible information has been received. It is also a violation of USA Swimming's Code of Conduct to knowingly file a false report on the topic. This is a partial list. To read about all USA Swimming's Athlete Protection efforts, visit www.usaswimming.org/protect.
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