Former US figure skating champion John Coughlin commits suicide one day after his suspension from sports

Tragedy has struck the home and family of former figure skating champion John Coughlin. A Facebook post by his sister revealed that he committed suicide on 18 January 2019.

John Coughlin is dead

John Coughlin was a two times US pairs champion. The U.S. Center for SafeSport and U.S. Figure Skating suspended him on Thursday, 17 January 2019 and the next day he died.

Source: Pinterest (John Coughlin)

His sister Angela Laune posted a message on her Facebook which read:

“My wonderful, strong, amazingly compassionate brother John Coughlin took his own life earlier today. I have no words.”

Kansas Police’s unofficial statement

Kansas Police did not release any report about John’s death. But Police sergeant Jake Becchina told USA Today:

“Officers were dispatched at 4:54 p.m. Friday to the 10900 Block of Washington Street in Kansas City for a suicide.”

The police records state that the address is John’s John’s former residence and it is the house where his father lives.

John Coughlin and his career

John Coughlin was a mere 33 years old sportsperson. He was seen regularly at the skating competitions and rinks around the USA and was passionate about that sport. John was also a coach and a TV commentator for skating games. He was a rising star and was with both USFS and the International Skating Union, the sport’s worldwide federation.

Source: Alton Telegraph (John and his figure skating partner)

He was a two times winner: U.S. pairs title in 2011 with Caitlin Yankowskas and in 2012 with Caydee Denney

John Coughlin and his suspension from sports

On 17 December 2018, SafeSport had restricted him from participating in sports events in skating. They withheld his eligibility for such sports. Someone had presented some matter concerning him to the concerned authorities. They were still considering on the matter and until it was resolved, the authorities decided to restrict John Coughlin from participation in skating competitions.

Source: Heavy (John and his skating partner)

The very next day, John who was the US brand manager for John Wilson Blades, a major skate blade company resigned from this post.

John Coughlin faces more disciplinary action

On 17 January 2019, SafeSport decided to elevate the disciplinary action against him and put him under ‘interim suspension’. USFS also followed suit and limited his sports participation. They temporarily suspended him and forbid him from participating ‘in any capacity, in any activity or competition’ authorized or organized by USFS or the U.S. Olympic Committee. This implied that John could not participate in the upcoming national level figure skating competition which would be held in Detroit the next week. This is US’s biggest skating event of the year.

Source: Team USA (SafeSport)

The head of the TV production company for the nationals expelled him from the post of a TV commentator earlier this week. The head said that he would no more be working with them.

John Coughlin had told USA Today that all the allegations levied on him were false and unfounded. He had said:

“While I wish I could speak freely about the unfounded allegations levied against me, the SafeSport rules prevent me from doing so since the case remains pending,” he wrote in an email to USA TODAY. “I note only that the SafeSport notice of allegation itself stated that an allegation in no way constitutes a finding by SafeSport or that there is any merit to the allegation.”

SafeSport reveals no details of any allegations which comes to them until it is solved.

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Condolences from the Sports Authorities

The ISU said in its issued statement:

“We are shocked and saddened by the unexpected passing of John Coughlin, Chair of the ISU Athletes Commission and member of the ISU Single & Pair Skating Technical Committee. In the name of  the ISU family, we herewith want to share our heartfelt condolences and kindest thoughts with John’s family and friends in this time of sorrow.”

USFS also tweeted their condolences but added that it would not talk further until a later date.

Source: USA Today