A USA swimming exec admits she once kissed Sean Hutchison -- the former Team USA swimming coach accused of sexual abuse by ex-Olympian Ariana Kukors -- and says she's stepping down to avoid being a distraction.
“In order to keep the focus on the tremendous efforts of my friends, colleagues and personal heroes working every day to keep kids safe, I have submitted my resignation,” Susan Woessner, the Director of USA swimming's "Safe Sport" program, said in an open letter.
Earlier this month, Kukors told law enforcement officials in Washington that Hutchison sexually abused her for nearly a decade -- with the first assault happening when she was 16 years old. Hutchison has denied any wrongdoing.
Woessner says she kissed Hutchison on "a single occasion" in 2007 ... but insists she never slept with him or had any other romantic contact.
The problem -- in 2010, she was ordered to investigate a romantic relationship between Hutchison and "a 21-year-old athlete" (Kukors) for Safe Sport -- a program created to "safeguard the well-being of all of its members, with the welfare of its athletes members as a top priority."
Kukors claims she was scared when an investigator called to interview her about their purported relationship, so she denied anything happened ... and the case was ultimately dismissed. Hutchison resigned while the investigation was ongoing.
In a release, USA swimming said "a disclosure of this interaction should have preceded an investigation involving Hutchison."