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Olympian sues USA Swimming to allege sexual abuse cover-up

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SEATTLE (AP) — Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors Smith sued USA Swimming on Monday, alleging the sport’s national governing body knew her former coach sexually abused her as a minor and covered it up.

Kukors Smith filed the lawsuit in Superior Court in Orange County, California. She alleges Sean Hutchison, who began coaching her at a swim club near Seattle, groomed her for sexual abuse when she was 13, started touching and kissing her when she was 16 and engaging in sexual activity with her when she was 17.

Hutchison has denied the allegations and has not been charged with a crime.

Kukors Smith also is suing longtime Olympic coach Mark Schubert, saying he failed to report “a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or endangerment.”

Kukors Smith, the 2009 World champion in the 200m individual medley who placed fifth in that event at the 2012 Games, told reporters that “by doing nothing,” USA Swimming “enabled Sean Hutchison to abuse me for a decade.”

USA Swimming hired a private investigator to look into rumors of a relationship between the two in 2010. The organization said it closed the investigation without finding any misconduct after they and others denied the relationship.

The lawsuit says top USA Swimming officials knew in 2005 of allegations of Hutchison having inappropriate relationships with underage swimmers, including Kukors Smith, who was then 16.

Top officials at the governing body, according to the lawsuit, also manipulated a background screening system to shield coaches accused of abuse.

“Those at USA Swimming need to change the culture of protecting predator coaches over young and vulnerable athletes such as myself,” Kukors Smith said.

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Katie Ledecky crushes 200m freestyle field in Indianapolis

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Katie Ledecky made it three wins in three days in Indianapolis, taking the 200m freestyle by 2.64 seconds at the Pro Series meet on Friday.

Ledecky clocked 1:55.42, which ranks third in the world this year. The two fastest swimmers, Canadian Taylor Ruck and Australian Ariarne Titmus, were not in Friday’s race.

Earlier in the meet, Ledecky smashed her 1500m freestyle world record by five seconds on Wednesday and swam the second-fastest 400m free in history on Thursday.

Her 200m free on Friday, while 1.69 seconds off her personal best from the Olympics, came an hour after she placed third in a 400m individual medley.

“I’m pretty happy with it coming off the 400m IM,” Ledecky said on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA.

Full meet results are here. The meet finishes Saturday, with Ledecky entered in the 200m individual medley and 800m freestyle. NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app will air live coverage at 7 p.m. ET.

Also Friday, 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte competed for the first time this spring, placing fourth in the 200m free and 100m butterfly at a meet in Atlanta. Lochte is scheduled for three meets in four weeks, including his first Pro Series meet since the Rio Olympics and his 10-month suspension in Santa Clara, Calif., next month.

Swimmers are preparing for the U.S. Championships in July and Pan Pacific Championships in August, the two meets that will determine the 2019 World Championships team.

An hour before her 200m free, Ledecky placed third in the 400m IM, an event she doesn’t swim at major meets. Melanie Margalis, fourth in the 200m IM at the 2016 Olympics and 2017 Worlds, and NCAA champion Ella Eastin went one-two in personal-best times.

Ledecky clocked 4:38.88, 1.93 seconds behind Margalis and .45 behind her Stanford teammate Eastin. Ledecky’s time was her third-fastest ever in the 400m IM, trailing her personal best of 4:37.93.

In other events, world champion Chase Kalisz won the men’s 400m IM by 6.54 seconds in 4:10.55, the second-fastest time in the world this year behind his own 4:08.92 from March 2.

Simone Manuel took the 50m free in 24.59, the fastest time by an American this year. Manuel is the Olympic silver medalist and world bronze medalist in the splash and dash. Australian Cate Campbell has the fastest time in the world of 23.78, but she’s not in Indianapolis.

Eight-time Olympic medalist Nathan Adrian won the men’s 50m free in 21.97, well off Brit Pen Broud‘s fastest time this year of 21.30. Neither Proud nor world champion Caeleb Dressel were in the field.

World bronze medalist Jacob Pebley prevailed in a 200m backstroke that lacked Olympic champ Ryan Murphy. Pebley clocked 1:57.03, 1.18 seconds off his fastest time this year.

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Katie Ledecky follows world record with second-fastest 400m free ever

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Katie Ledecky followed Wednesday’s world-record swim with the second-fastest 400m freestyle in history at a Pro Series meet in Indianapolis on Thursday night.

In her first meet as a pro, Ledecky won the 400m free in 3:57.94, giving her the 10 fastest times ever in the event. The only faster swim was Ledecky’s world record 3:56.46 at the Rio Olympics.

Ledecky won Thursday’s race comfortably by 8.73 seconds over Olympic bronze medalist Leah Smith. She reacted to the time with a head nod, subdued compared to slamming her first into the water and sticking her tongue out after Wednesday’s world record.

Full meet results are here.

“Had a little too high of a tempo the first 50,” Ledecky, who has three more weeks of Stanford classes left in her sophomore year, told media in Indianapolis. “Overall, really pleased. … Another good surprise.

“It’s really not something that should surprise me based on how I’ve been training the last six weeks. I just didn’t think that only six weeks could make that big of an impact.”

Later Thursday, Ledecky placed fifth in the 100m freestyle in 54.56. Her personal best in the 100m free, not one of her best events, is 53.75. Canadian Taylor Ruck won the 100m free in 53.42, topping Olympic and world champion Simone Manuel by .42.

Olympic and world 100m breaststroke champion Lilly King placed third in the 200m breast behind Melanie Margalis and Emily Escobedo. Margalis made the Rio Olympic team, but in the 200m individual medley and 4x200m free relay rather than the breaststroke.

London Olympic champ Nathan Adrian took the 100m freestyle in 48.69, topping Blake Pieroni by .54. The field lacked world champion Caeleb Dressel, who is competing at a meet in Atlanta this weekend.

NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and the NBC Sports app will air live coverage of the Indianapolis meet starting Friday.

Ledecky is also entered in the 400m individual medley (Friday), 200m freestyle (Friday), 200m individual medley (Saturday) and 800m freestyle (Saturday).

Broadcast Schedule
Friday (7 ET): Olympic Channel, OlympicChannel.com, Olympic Channel app*
Saturday (7 ET): NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app
Olympic Channel coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for Olympic Channel subscribers.

Swimmers are preparing for the U.S. Championships in July and Pan Pacific Championships in August, the two meets that will determine the 2019 World Championships team.

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MORE: Ryan Lochte begins comeback in earnest this week