January 19, 2019 3:46 pm
Updated: January 19, 2019 10:22 pm

John Coughlin, former U.S. figure skating champ, dead at 33 following suspension

WATCH: Warning: This video contains sensitive content. Discretion advised. Former U.S. figure skating champion John Coughlin was found dead Friday a day after he was suspended from official events.


Figure skater and two-time U.S. pairs champion John Coughlin died Friday at the age of 33, one day after he was suspended from the sport.

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“My wonderful, strong, amazing compassionate brother John Coughlin took his own life earlier today,” his sister, Angela Laune, wrote in a Facebook post late Friday.

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Officers found Coughlin dead Friday afternoon after responding to a call about a suicide, a spokesperson for the police department in Kansas City, Mo., told Global News.

Coughlin was temporarily suspended from official figure skating events on Thursday, according to U.S. Figure Skating and the U.S. Center for SafeSport. The suspension notice does not provide any details of the allegations against him.

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U.S. Figure Skating and the International Skating Union issued statements mourning his passing on Saturday.

“Our heartfelt and deepest sympathies are with his father Mike, sister Angela and the rest of his family,” U.S. Figure Skating tweeted.

“We are shocked and saddened by the unexpected passing of John Coughlin,” the International Skating Union wrote in a statement.

Skate Canada also acknowledged Coughlin’s passing in a separate statement.

Coughlin was an accomplished pairs skater who won back-to-back U.S. titles in 2011 and 2012. He later became a coach, brand manager and television commentator.

Caydee Denney, right, and John Coughlin, left, of the United States, perform in the pairs free skating event at the ISU Figure Skating Eric Bompard Trophy, at Bercy arena in Paris on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013.

AP Photo/Michel Euler

Coughlin was facing disciplinary measures from the U.S. Center for SafeSport, a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing abuse in U.S. sports.

SafeSport temporarily restricted Coughlin from participating in official figure skating events in December, pending an investigation into unknown allegations.

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Coughlin told USA Today on Jan. 7 that the allegations were unfounded. He resigned as brand manager for John Wilson Blades the next day.

SafeSport escalated the punishment to a temporary suspension on Thursday.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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