USA Swimming Shut Down Sean Hutchison Investigation Prematurely, Report Shows

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

According to a former FBI agent hired by USA Swimming to investigate sexual misconduct allegations against U.S. Olympic and National Team coach Sean Hutchison in 2011, top officials and attorneys for the organization falsely characterized the findings and extent of the investigation, according to an investigation by The Orange County Register.

The OC Register reported that officials and attorneys shut down the probe before the FBI agent could interview several key witnesses, according to documents obtained by the Southern California News Group (SCNG).

USA Swimming hired Paulette Brundage in December 2010 to investigate the allegations that Hutchison was sexually or romantically involved with swimmer Ariana Kukors that began when she was a minor, which would be a violation of USA Swimming’s Code of Conduct.

Hutchison was cleared by USA Swimming in February 2011, stating a “full investigation” by an “independent investigator” found “no evidence to substantiate the existence of an inappropriate sexual relationship between Coach Hutchison and the athlete,” according to a statement by then USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus.

But according to a recent deposition obtained by the SCNG, Brundage said “it was not a full investigation.”

The investigation was shut down before Brundage was able to interview “key witnesses” including Dana Vollmer, who roomed with Kukors at the 2009 pre-Worlds training camp. Brundage said she was never allowed to interview U.S. National Team director Mark Schubert, who was believed by some within USA Swimming to be driving the allegations about Hutchison and Kukors, according to the report.

Kukors came forward in February 2018 and claimed Hutchison sexually abused her. The next day Hutchison denied these claims and officially left KING Aquatic Club in Seattle. Kukors filed a civil suit against Hutchison and USA Swimming in May. Hutchison was permanently banned by Safe Sport in November 2018.

Read the in-depth story from The Orange County Register here.

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3 years ago

where there is smoke….there is fire… run and hide is not the actions of an innocent man…..the ghost of andy coan

3 years ago

Unbelievable. USA Swimming’s only concern was to protect Mr. Hutchinson. And they lied. All of them should be held accountable.