John Coughlin, a two-time U.S. pairs champion, died Friday by suicide just days after U.S. Center for SafeSport and U.S. Figure Skating suspended him from the sport, according to multiple reports. He was 33.
USA Today reports that Kansas City police responded to a call to a home in the city and confirmed that the deceased found at the scene was in fact Coughlin. A full report has not been released.
U.S. Figure Skating released the following statement via Twitter:
Coughlin, who had recently been more known for his work as a coach, TV commentator and a chair of the International Skating Union’s Athletes Commission, had his eligibility to participate in figure skating restricted on Dec. 17, 2018. According to a report from USA Today’s Christine Brennan, the U.S. Center for SafeSport listed his name by the words “Interim Measure – Restriction.” SafeSport enacts these measures whenever allegations of abuse are brought up against an individual, but there hasn’t been anything specified against Coughlin since that report. On Thursday, SafeSport upgraded the status to a “Temporary Suspension,” meaning the following, per U.S. Figure Skating:
Beginning on January 17, 2019, Responding Party John Coughlin is prohibited from participating, in any capacity, in any activity or competition authorized by, organized by, or under the auspices of the United States Olympic Committee, the national governing bodies recognized by the United States Olympic Committee, including U.S. Figure Skating, and/or a Local Affiliated Organization of a national governing body recognized by the United States Olympic Committee.
Coughlin was a U.S. national pairs champion in 2011 and 2012, and represented the United States at the world championships those same years. We will update this post with more information as it becomes available.