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USA Swimming's Susan Woessner resigns after failing to disclose 2007 kiss with ex-coach

USA Swimming Safe Sport Director Susan Woessner resigned Thursday after acknowledging she once kissed a coach she later helped investigate for an improper relationship with a swimmer.

Woessner, who oversees the group protecting swimmers from abuses, said in 2007 she kissed then-coach Sean Hutchinson. Several years later, Woessner contributed to an investigation of Hutchinson's relationship with swimmer Ariana Kukors.

USA Swimming said Woessner should have revealed the encounter before taking part in the 2010-2011 investigation.

Kukors accused Hutchinson of sexually abusing her in a recent essay and said she was involved in "an extensive, abusive and incredibly manipulative relationship'' with the coach that spanned a decade starting when she was 13.

When USA Swimming investigated their relationship in late 2010, Kukors said she lied. "I was scared. I lied. I had never felt more alone in all my life," she said. Kukors said the interview was on the phone and no one ever followed up with a visit in person.

Hutchinson has said the relationship was consensual.

Following Kukors' essay, the Orange County Register published a story alleging USA Swimming had failed to properly investigate "hundreds of claims of sexual abuse."

USA Swimming said in a release Thursday that the kiss between Hutchinson and Woessner did not conflict with any organizational rules at the time. But, USA Swimming said, "Considering Woessner's Safe Sport role, a disclosure of this interaction should have preceded an investigation involving Hutchison in December 2010."

Woessner said in a letter to USA Swimming's membership, "while I would normally consider my personal life to be private, it is in the interest of full disclosure that I describe an incident from 11 years ago." She said it was a single encounter and there was no romantic relationship between them.

"In order to keep the focus on the tremendous efforts of my friends, colleagues and personal heroes working every day to keep kids safe," she said, "I have submitted my resignation."

Earlier Thursday, USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey said in a letter to the organization's membership that "USA Swimming does not tolerate sexual abuse or misconduct" and "this organization is facing this extremely serious issue with one very clear goal - protecting children and athletes."