Championship figure skating coach banned over sexual misconduct accusations
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U.S. figure skating coach Richard Callaghan has been permanently banned from participating in any activity or competition under the United States Olympic Committee, U.S. Figure Skating or another skating organizations after allegations of sexual misconduct involving minor.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport, an organization formed in 2017 to examine reports of athlete abuse and mistreatment, launched an investigation into Callaghan in March of last year after Craig Maurizi, 56, came forward in and alleged that the coach engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior with him when he was 15, USA Today reported. He had previously reported the abuse in 1999.

The former skater also alleged that Callaghan used his authority to engage in a sexual relationship with him when he was 18.

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Callaghan tried to sue SafeSport after he was suspended by the organization and USFS during the investigation, but the suit was thrown out by a judge, according to USA Today.

Adam Schmidt, a former skating student of Callaghan, also filed a lawsuit earlier this month alleging that Callaghan sexually abused him from 1999 to 2001, beginning when he was 14, according to USA Today. The lawsuit also accuses U.S. Figure Skating, which is the sport’s governing body, and Onyx Ice Arena in Detroit, where Callaghan coached Schmidt.

The alleged abuse came after USFS dismissed sexual misconduct allegations against the coach in 1999 by Maurizi. 

John Manly, Schmidt’s attorney, blasted USFS for not responding to Maurizi’s earlier claims.

“This should have been done in the 90s when USFS first knew,” Manly told USA Today. “It’s good news but small comfort to those Callaghan hurt. Clearly this move is in response to the horrible press USFS received in response to Adam Schmidt’s filing. You shouldn’t have to file a lawsuit to protect kids from child molesters in Olympic sports.”

Callaghan has denied all of the allegations. 

In a Wednesday statement, USFS said “Richard Callaghan is permanently 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, and/or a Local Affiliated Organization of a national governing body recognized by the United States Olympic Committee.”

Callaghan is best known for leading Tara Lipinski to the 1998 Olympic gold medal and Todd Eldredge to the 1996 world championship for figure skating. 

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated when SafeSport was founded. The organization was launched in 2017.