Figure Skating Coach Richard Callaghan Banned Pending Sexual Abuse Investigation

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2018

Close up of Japan's Kaori Sakamoto's skates as she compete in the women's single skating free skating of the figure skating event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 23, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV        (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/Getty Images

Former figure skating coach Richard Callaghan—who coached Olympic champion Tara Lipinski and six-time United States champion Todd Eldredge, among others—was reportedly suspended by United States Figure Skating, pending an investigation into past sexual misconduct allegations.

ESPN.com reported the news Friday and cited a 1999 New York Times article in which a student of Callaghan's, Craig Maurizi, accused him of sexual conduct starting when Maurizi was 15 years old.

The article noted Maurizi registered a complaint with the United States Figure Skating Association at the time.

However, ESPN.com noted the grievance was ultimately dismissed because Maurizi didn't file it within the prescribed 60 days.

The New York Times article, written by Jere Longman, cited allegations from other skaters as well and summarized some of the interviews conducted:

"Interviews with four dozen skaters, coaches, officials, agents and parents, including more than a dozen of Callaghan's current and former students, have produced differing portraits: for some, he is a consummate, if tough and exacting, professional; for others, he is an authoritarian presence who could bully female skaters and make unwanted sexual advances to male skaters under his care."

According to ESPN.com, Callaghan moved on from the Detroit Skating Club to another rink in Detroit before moving to Florida and continuing to coach in the aftermath of the allegations.

"That's 19 or 20 years ago," he said when asked about them again, per ABC News. "I have nothing to say."

This news comes in the wake of criticism that United States Gymnastics, as well as the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State, received for failing to stop the abuse of Larry Nassar when he was a doctor for U.S. Gymnastics and Michigan State.

The entire USA Gymnastics board stepped down after Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting girls and women, using his position to gain access and trust.

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