After news of figure skater John Coughlin's death by suspected suicide broke Friday, a new report from USA Today emerged Sunday morning, revealing how he was facing three complaints alleging sexual misconduct.
A day prior to his death at the age of 33, the U.S. Center for SafeSport announced that Coughlin was facing an interim suspension from figure skating, but neither the organization nor U.S. Figure Skating commented publicly about the nature of the allegations.
The USA Today article cites an anonymous source, who said the first complaint emerged from a person over 18, which prompted the initial disciplinary response from SafeSport. The two allegations, which involved minors, reportedly came to the organization in the last few weeks, which prompted it to be elevated to an interim suspension Thursday.
The following day, Coughlin died of suspected suicide in Kansas City.
In a Jan. 7 email to the publication, Coughlin called the initial allegation against him "unfounded."
"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. "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."
After Coughlin's death, a number of prominent athletes in the skating community spoke out on social media.
"We all have our own truths," Gracie Gold wrote on Instagram. "John Coughlin was my friend-a wonderful friend. I was 9 years old when we met, just learning to skate. Over the years I knew him, he inspired me, supported me, and made me laugh. During my darkest days, his was an encouraging voice, telling me things would be okay. Recently we teamed up, providing seminars to a new generation of skaters. I loved every minute of it. I remember John's exuberance and passion for the sport and the people in it. John Coughlin made a positive difference in my life and many others. This is the truth I know. Rest In Peace, my friend, I will miss you."
Johnny Weir added on Twitter, "John Coughlin was a person who made things fun. He was a person who was talented, had an incredible laugh & would go out of his way to cheer someone up. His kindness is something I'll never forget and his light will be missed. My prayers are with his family & friends."
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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