Prude Death Investigation

U.S. figure skating champion John Coughlin dies one day after being suspended

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U.S. figure skating champion John Coughlin died Friday, one day after being suspended from the sport over unspecified allegations. His sister said he died by suicide, though an official cause of death has not been announced.

Coughlin, 33, won a U.S. pairs title in 2011 with Caitlin Yankowskas and another in 2012 with Caydee Denney. He was also a coach, brand manager and TV commentator for competitions.  

The U.S. Center for SafeSport, a non-profit that works to prevent abuse in sports, announced in December that Coughlin’s participation in figure skating was restricted as the organization looked into a matter involving him. 

On Thursday, SafeSport said Coughlin would face an interim suspension. The same day, U.S. Figure Skating said Coughlin was temporarily suspended from participating “in any capacity, in any activity or competition” tied to the skating league or the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Coughlin told USA Today in early January that the allegations against him were “unfounded” and he was prevented from speaking about the case while it was pending. The nature of the allegation remains unclear.

Coughlin’s death came just days before the national figure skating championships begin in Detroit. 

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