Yesterday it was reported that former pairs skater John Coughlin died by suicide a day after his interim suspension from SafeSport was announced, but there was no public comment about the nature of the allegations against him by either SafeSport or U.S. Figure Skating.
In an article in USA Today, journalist Christine Brennan reports that there were three complaints alleging sexual misconduct lodged with the U.S. Center for SafeSport about Coughlin. Citing an anonymous source, Brennan writes that the first report came from a person over 18, which triggered the initial SafeSport action, and the first disciplinary action against Coughlin. At the time, Coughlin, in an email to USA Today, described the allegations as “unfounded.”
Following the initial report and action, it appears that two additional complaints were made. Brennan writes:
“The other two reports, both of which involved minors at the time of the alleged sexual misconduct, came to SafeSport within the past few weeks and resulted in its decision to elevate Coughlin’s disciplinary record to an interim suspension Thursday night.”
Under an interim suspension, Coughlin was not allowed to participate in any capacity with activities tied to U.S. Figure Skating, the USOC, and any member national governing bodies.
Coughlin died by suicide in Kansas City the following day.
Upon news of his death, several prominent skaters including Gracie Gold and Johnny Weir, mourned him on social media.
The U.S. Figure Skating Championships are being held this week in Detroit.