The organization reported the incident to Baltimore County police. "It is our policy to report any information regarding the sexual abuse of a minor to local authorities," USA Swimming said.

"Because child sexual abuse is a criminal act, we feel it is most important that it is referred to the police."

About a year later, the Baltimore club relayed information to the oversight group about an alleged "inappropriate act by a coach," Linhart said.

Linhart said efforts by USA Swimming to prevent and respond to abuse include policies and guidelines, screenings, training, monitoring and supervision, reporting and feedback. The organization's highest penalty is a lifetime ban. Complaints that involve abuse of a minor are also reported to law enforcement, Linhart said.

Victims of alleged abuse have come forward across the country in recent years.

After allegations about Curl, 62, were revealed, his club, Curl-Burke, changed its name to the Nation's Capital Swim Club. The club, which has pools in the district and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs, has produced such swimmers as 15-year-old Katie Ledecky of Bethesda, who won a gold medal in the London Olympics this summer.

Last month, Mark Schubert, among the most decorated swimming coaches, was sued by a woman who said she was fired after trying to keep children away from another coach under investigation for sexual abuse. The woman, Dia Rianda, was a coach at Schubert's Golden West Swim Club in California. Schubert, who has coached such legendary swimmers as Janet Evans, had been fired as the national team's head coach in 2010.

After Riande filed her suit, USA Swimming issued a statement that "the resolution" of its relationship with Schubert "did not involve any cover-up of alleged sexual misconduct. … Rather, because of USA Swimming's commitment to safe sport, the agreement between USA Swimming and Mr. Schubert specifically required that if Schubert had, or in the future, received reliable information involving a sexual misconduct Code of Conduct violation by a coach or other member of USA Swimming, he would bring that information to USA Swimming in writing and would testify at a National Board of Review proceeding if requested to do so by USA Swimming."

Baltimore Sun librarian Paul McCardell and reporters Kevin Rector and Candy Thomson contributed to this article.