Former U.S. Figure Skater John Coughlin Dead At 33 Following Suspension

Caydee Denney and John Coughlin skate

Former U.S. figure skater John Coughlin has died of apparent suicide at age 33.

His sister Angela Laune revealed the tragic news on Facebook.

“My wonderful, amazingly compassionate brother John Coughlin took his own life today,” she wrote. “I have no words. I love you John. Always Always Brother Bear…”

The Kansas City Police Department tells Access that on Friday at 4:54 PM, officers were dispatched to the 10900 Block of Washington St. in response to an apparent death by suicide.

Kansas City Police confirm that the deceased was John Coughlin.

The athletes death comes after he was facing suspension from the sport.

John Coughlin and Caydee Denney leave the ice after skating
John Coughlin and Caydee Denney leave the ice after skating in the pairs free skate during the Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden on January 11, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

According to USA Today, on Dec. 17, his “eligibility to participate” in skating was “restricted by SafeSport pending final resolution of a matter concerning him that was presented to the center.”

Also according to USA Today, who reported the initial suspension news on Jan. 7, Coughlin went on to resign as brand manager for major skate blade company John Wilson Blades on Jan. 8.

On Thursday, SafeSport went on to reportedly call for a “temporary suspension” of the skater, according to a release from the Professional Skating Association that was obtained by People.

According to the statement obtained by People Coughlin was “prohibited from participating, in any capacity, 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.”

U.S. Figure Skating also suspended Coughlin according to the statement, saying he was suspended “pending final resolution of the matter by the U.S. Center for Safesport,” per People.

Coughlin went on to tell USA Today on Jan. 7 that the allegations against him were “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 in an email to USA Today.

“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,” he added.

SafeSport declined to comment when contacted by Access saying, “it’s the Center’s policy to not speak to matters to protect the integrity of the process and the privacy of those involved, including reporting parties.”

Following his death, U.S Figure Skating said they were “stunned” by his passing.

“We are stunned at the death of two-time U.S. pairs champion John Coughlin. Our heartfelt and deepest sympathies are with his father Mike, sister Angela and the rest of his family. Out of respect to the family, we will have no further comment until a later time,” the organization wrote.

John Wilson Blades also reacted to the news of Coughlin’s death.

“It is with profound sadness that we share the news of 2X US pairs champion and former John Wilson Brand Manager John Coughlin’s passing (on Friday). Our heartfelt and deepest sympathy goes out to his father Mike, sister Angela and family and friends who cared for him so dearly,” the brand wrote on Twitter.

— by Stephanie Swaim

Copyright © 2019 by NBC Universal, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This material may not be republished, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read More