USA Swimming is the subject of lawsuits from six women ©USA Swimming

Six women have filed lawsuits alleging that USA Swimming failed to protect them from sexual abuse from coaches Mitch Ivey, Everett Uchiyama and Andy King.

Debra Grodensky, Tracy Palmero and Suzette Moran are among the six women to file the cases, with the three speaking publicly after waiving their anonymity. 

Two lawsuits have been filed at the Alameda County Superior Court in Northern California, with the other lodged in Orange County Superior Court in Southern California.

The cases are believed to be the first filed under a new law in California, which has extended the statute of limitations over past sexual abuse.

The lawsuits have claimed that USA Swimming, local associations and clubs had been aware of the alleged behaviour of Ivey, Everett and King but failed to act.

It is claimed the failure to act exposed swimmers to sexual abuse and harassment.

The late USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus is among the officials accused of failing to address the behaviour of the coaches.

Former US Olympic and national team coach Ivey, former national team director Uchiyama and coach King are all banned for life from Olympic sports.

The trio appear on USA Swimming's permanent ban list and the US Center for SafeSport database of banned individuals.

According to the Orange County Register, survivors of sexual abuse say the culture that allowed them to be abused "continues to exist within USA Swimming".

Grodensky said King abused her from the age of 11 to 16 when she was a swimmer in California in the early 1980s, according to the Associated Press.

Grodensky has she said she has suffered from depression as a result of the abuse.

King was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2010, after pleading no contest to 20 child molestation charges.

Moran has alleged Ivey began grooming her for his sexual gratification, which resulted in him getting her pregnant at 17.

Moran has said Ivey told her to have an abortion months before the 1984 US Olympic trials.

Palmero alleges she was abused by Uchiyama in the early 1990s, beginning at the age of 14.

She claims other coaches on her team knew of Uchiyama's abuse and did nothing, adding that she reported him to Wielgus in 2006.

Uchiyama reportedly admitted to the abuse and resigned, although the decision was reportedly not made public, with no investigation and the allegations not reported to law enforcement.

The late USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus is among the officials accused of failing to address the behaviour of the coaches ©USA Swimming
The late USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus is among the officials accused of failing to address the behaviour of the coaches ©USA Swimming

The lawsuit reportedly claims Uchiyama later was recommended to another coaching position by a USA Swimming executive.

Uchiyama's ban was not publicised until 2010.

USA Swimming has issued a statement saying it supports survivors of sexual abuse, adding the organisation is committed to providing a safe environment.

"We are aware of the information publicly released today in California," a USA Swimming spokesperson said.

"We fully support survivors of sexual abuse along their healing journey.

"USA Swimming's Safe Sport programme continues to work with prominent health and education experts to provide meaningful member resources and SwimAssist funding to those in need.

"The organisation and its current leadership remain committed to providing a safe environment and a positive culture for all its members."

Back in 2018, a report alleged widespread sexual abuse in the sport and claimed USA Swimming officials failed to adequately investigate "hundreds" of abuse allegations.

In June 2014, Wielgus released a public apology since USA Swimming's sexual abuse scandal came to light four years earlier.

Wielgus had been criticised for allegedly turning a blind eye to the scandal within USA Swimming with an online petition set-up to bring about his removal.

Wielgus apologised for his actions in the four years since he claimed in a television interview that he did not owe the sexual abuse victims an apology.

USA Swimming are among the national bodies in the country facing lawsuits, with USA Gymnastics and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) also accused of failures to act on abuse.

USA Gymnastics is facing a lawsuit from gymnasts who were sexually abused by disgraced former doctor Larry Nasser.

Nasser was given an effective life sentence by a Michigan court in 2018 for sexually abusing dozens of young female gymnasts and is additionally serving a 60-year jail term for a federal child pornography conviction.

The USTA is facing a lawsuit for failing to stop a coach from abusing young players.

Last month it was reported that USA Hockey President Jim Smith is under investigation by the US Center for SafeSport regarding his handling of allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse by a youth coach.