John Coughlin, a former U.S. figure skater who was a two-time U.S. Pairs champ and a familiar face in the world of skating, died Friday in Kansas City, People magazine reports. He was 33.
His death was a likely suicide. The Kansas City Police Department confirmed to People that officers were called to the scene of an apparent death by suicide, and later confirmed the name of the deceased matched Coughlin's.
Coughlin, who had been accused of sexual misconduct, had been suspended from the sport by SafeSport, a body with "exclusive jurisdiction" over such matters. On January 8, he had resigned as U.S. brand manager for John Wilson Blades.
SafeSport's suspension meant he was "prohibited from participating 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.”
No details are known of the accusations that led to Coughlin's suspension, and now that he is deceased, SafeSport may decline to pursue the matter since its mission is to protect skaters from harm, not to punish offenders.
Coughlin had said the charges against him were "unfounded."
Coughlin's sister, Angela Laune, memorialized her brother on Facebook, calling him "wonderful, strong, amazingly compassionate."