U.S. Figure Skater John Coughlin Dies by Suicide After Being Suspended
United States figure skater John Coughlin was found dead in Kansas City on Friday, according to his sister.
Angela Laune confirmed the sad news in a Facebook post. She revealed that the 33-year-old appeared to have died by suicide.
"My wonderful, strong, amazingly compassionate brother John Coughlin took his own life earlier today," she wrote. "I have no words."
Police in Kansas City have not yet issued a police report, but told People officers were called to Washington Street on Friday at 4:54 p.m. in response to an apparent suicide. Sergeant Jake Becchina confirmed that the deceased was Coughlin.
The professional skater worked as a coach and commentator in U.S. Figure Skating and the International Skating Union. He participated in two world championships in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Coughlin placed sixth and eighth in each competition.
Despite his accomplishments, Coughlin was recently suspended from the sport by SafeSport. According to a report from USA Today, the organization – which has "exclusive jurisdiction over sexual misconduct" in the Olympic realm – temporarily suspended Coughlin as a final measure in a case brought to them. The athlete resigned as U.S. brand manager for John Wilson Blades on Jan. 8.
Details about why Coughlin was suspended were not released. This is SafeSport's policy.
"A suspension means there have been enough allegations or concern about safety to where we say, 'This person just cannot participate at all,'" a source linked to SafeSport told People.
Some allegations, however, could be reported to law enforcement, which could lead to further investigation. Coughlin maintained, during his life that allegations against him were "unfounded."