John Coughlin, a two-time U.S. pairs figure skating champion and a fixture at skating competitions and rinks around the country as a coach, TV commentator and chair of the International Skating Union’s Athletes Commission, had his eligibility to participate in his sport restricted Dec. 17 by the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
The SafeSport website lists Coughlin’s name with the words “Interim Measure – Restriction.” SafeSport has the authority to investigate allegations before ruling on those cases. It typically does not provide details of the nature of the allegations until a case is resolved.
U.S. Figure Skating’s website had no mention of Coughlin or the restriction as of Monday afternoon. USFS, the national governing body for figure skating in the United States, did not reply to a request for the specific nature of the matter concerning Coughlin.
“The Center has a number of tools at its disposal during an investigation, including the ability to issue interim measures,” SafeSport spokesman Dan Hill said in a text message to USA TODAY Sports on Monday afternoon. “The Center may issue an interim measure(s) for any number of reasons, but typically they are used before a matter is final. As each matter comes with its own unique set of circumstances, the specific disciplinary actions/sanctions in place on any given matter varies.”
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The U.S. Center for SafeSport opened in 2017 with the aim to end all forms of abuse in sport. It has exclusive jurisdiction over allegations of sexual misconduct but also looks into other forms of abuse.
Coughlin, 33, won the U.S. pairs title in 2011 with Caitlin Yankowskas and in 2012 with Caydee Denney. In addition to his high-profile assignment within the ISU, which is the international federation of his sport, Coughlin also is a member of various USFS committees.
Coughlin did not respond to an email seeking comment.