Mon, January 21, 2019

Former US figure skater John Coughlin dies after sport suspension

John Coughlin a former two-time US pairs figure skating champion has taken his life after being suspended from the sport following investigation claims of sexual misconduct.

The 33 year-old was facing three reports of sexual misconduct  against him, two of them involving minors. The reports were filed with the U.S. Center for SafeSport within the past few weeks and resulted in its decision to elevate Coughlin’s disciplinary record to an interim suspension Thursday night.

Coughlin, retired from competitive skating in 2015, but remained heavily involved in the sport as a coach and TV announcer. Coughlin had been placed under restricted eligibility by the US Centre for SafeSport - an organisation that was set up in 2017 with the aim to end all forms of abuse in sport. It has exclusive jurisdiction over allegations of sexual misconduct but also looks into other forms of abuse.

On Friday, a day after the suspension, Mr Coughlin was found dead by Kansas City police, who confirmed his death as a suicide. Coughlin’s coach, Dalilah Sappenfield, said the unsubstantiated allegations drove him to take his own life.

A spokesperson from SafeSport said that it is ‘unlikely’ the investigation will continue. “We are not a punitive body. When someone is suspended, it is to keep individuals safe. It’s all about the safety of the reporting party. In this instance, sadly, the safety issue isn’t there now.”


Recent News Articles

Tue, October 04, 2022

Report into NWSL finds abuse was “systemic”

An independent investigation has found that abuse and misconduct is “systemic” in the National Women’s Soccer League, and that the league, teams and the governing U.S. Soccer body failed to adequately protect players.

Read More

Fri, September 30, 2022

Women’s rights group calls for Iran to be kicked out of Qatar World Cup

Women’s rights group Open Stadiums has called on FIFA to kick Iran out of this year’s World Cup in Qatar because of the country’s treatment of women. 

Read More

Thu, September 29, 2022

Denmark to tone down World Cup kit in protest against Qatar’s human rights record and treatment of migrant workers

Denmark will wear a toned down kit for the World Cup in Qatar as a form of protest against the country’s human rights record and treatment of migrant workers. 

Read More