(CNN) — Longtime coach Richard Callaghan was eternally banned by US Figure Skating afterwards he was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing an underage figure skater.
The action comes after the US Center for SafeSport — the US Olympic Committee agency that has exclusive authority over allegations of sexual misconduct — said Callaghan was ineligible to participate in any competition or activity having to do with the US Olympic Committee or the sport’s national governing body.
The sanction, effective Wednesday was adopted by US Figure Skating, ” he said on its site.
Before this past year, Callaghan was accused of sexually abusing former US figure skater Adam Schmidt within the course of two years, beginning when Schmidt was approximately 14 years of age. The abuse happened while Callaghan was the lawsuit alleged, training Schmidt, and afterwards at a contest in San Diego.
US Figure Skating formerly failed to comment on the litigation, but said it”supports most of victims of sexual abuse and misconduct and encourages anyone who has been abused or suspects abuse or misconduct to instantly report it to local law authorities, the U.S. Center for SafeSport or U.S. Figure Skating.”
The ice skating center said the claims in the suit were”quite severe” and”deserve a thorough investigation.” The facility had to obtain the litigation and stated it was initially informed by news outlets and asks for comment in the journalists.
The US Center for SafeSport suspended Callaghan at March 2018, after allegations he made sexual advances as soon as 1976 toward a second figure skater, who said he had been 13 at the moment.
In an email, Callaghan’s attorney, Dean Groulx, told CNN the ban marked a”sad day for US Olympic sports. A real giant at US figure skating is subject to a life ban without due procedure.”
Groulx blasted SafeSport, saying that the team”changed its principles in the middle of its investigation of Richard Callaghan to carry out what can only be characterized, in my estimation, as a witch hunt.”
Schmidt, now 34, is a former member of the US National Figure Skating Team, his lawyers said.
“This announcement is a major victory for all who’ve suffered abuses by the former legend of figure skating, Mr. Callaghan,” Schmidt said in a statement Thursday. He proceeded to accuse US Figure Skating of producing a”culture of abuse which lasted decades and now is the first of many successes to emerge in reversing that.”
And Schmidt’s lawyer, John Manly, hailed the decision, telling CNN,”It should have been completed in the 90’s. It’s excellent news but small comfort to those he hurt”
Figure skater Tara Lipinski was coached by callaghan in the 1998 Winter Olympics to a gold medal. He also coached 1996 world champion Todd Eldredge.
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