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Report: USA Hockey president being investigated for alleged mishandling of abuse claims against coach

USA Hockey president Jim Smith is under investigation by the U.S. Center for SafeSport for allegedly mishandling sexual abuse allegations against a coach, the hockey organization told The Athletic.

According to the report, published Thursday, Smith was told in 1989 that Chicago-area coach Tom Adrahtas had sexually abused several junior players. Through a spokesperson, USA Hockey acknowledged that Smith, among others, is under investigation for not taking action as a result of that complaint.

"The U.S. Center for SafeSport has advised us they have taken jurisdiction and are investigating allegations that people within [the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois], including Jim Smith, were aware of sexual misconduct by Thomas Adrahtas and did not take action," USA Hockey executive director Pat Kelleher said via a spokesperson.

Earlier this month, Smith told The Athletic that he did not receive any reports of misconduct against Adrahtas during his time as AHAI president, a role in which he served from 1985 to 1988.

USA Hockey is also conducting an internal investigation related to an Athletic report into business dealings and a culture of silence at AHAI.

USA Hockey spokesman Dave Fischer confirmed Friday that the organization has hired an independent investigator to look into Smith's business dealings with AHAI. Fischer also said the U.S. Center for SafeSport is investigating allegations that Smith was aware of sexual misconduct by a coach and didn't take action against him during Smith's tenure with AHAI.

Adrahtas coached at several hockey programs in the Chicago area, landing at Robert Morris in 2008. He continued to coach at the school until November 2018, when he left shortly after a former junior hockey player detailed sexual abuse by the coach for nearly two years. The U.S. Center for SafeSport has been investigating Adrahtas since 2018, and he is temporarily suspended from coaching.

Adrahtas previously denied the accusations to The Athletic in February, saying, "I've never sexually abused anyone."

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.