USA Swimming faces investigation for handling of sex abuse claims, finances: report
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USA Swimming is reportedly facing a federal probe into its handling of athlete claims of sexual abuse and allegations of financial misconduct.

During the past year, a federal grand jury in Manhattan has been hearing evidence from the inquiry, which has been led by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. 

The newspaper reported that accusers were made to submit formal complaints including the victim's name, and a USA Swimming executive would decide if there was enough evidence for disciplinary action.

Matters in some cases were reportedly referred to USA Swimming’s National Board of Review, appointed by USA Swimming executives, to decide if there should be disciplinary action against coaches.

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The Journal cited court filings, disciplinary records and people familiar with the matter for its report.

Before a board hearing, a lawyer portrayed as impartial but who actually represented USA Swimming would contact accusers and could use information gleaned about the accusers against them during the hearing, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the investigation.

“The system is designed to stop you from wanting to report,” a person briefed on the investigation told the paper, which noted that the system is no longer in place. 

The Journal reported that aspects of USA Swimming's finances are also being looked into, including whether the organization moved money to The USA Swimming Foundation to hide its assets and protect itself from litigation.

A person familiar with the investigation told the Journal that federal authorities in New York had not reached out to USA Swimming.

A USA Swimming spokeswoman told the newspaper that the organization “supports any government investigation that goes toward protecting athletes.” She also said that USA Swimming was confident in the integrity of finances and tax filings, including those related to the foundation. 

The Hill has reached out to USA Swimming and the FBI for comment. A spokesperson for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office declined The Hill's request for comment. 

The Journal reported last month that the Justice Department was conducting a separate investigation into U.S. Olympic sports organizations over potential sexual abuse and financial misconduct. It noted Wednesday that USA Swimming was also being looked into under that probe.