(CNN) — Longtime trainer Richard Callaghan has been eternally banned from US Figure Skating after he had been 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 which has exclusive authority over allegations of sexual misconduct — stated Callaghan was permanently ineligible to participate in any contest or activity having to do with the US Olympic Committee or the sport’s national governing body.
The sanction, powerful Wednesday was embraced by US Figure Skating, it said on its website.
Earlier this month, Callaghan was accused of sexually abusing former US figure skater Adam Schmidt over the span of two decades, beginning when Schmidt was about 14 years old. The abuse happened while Callaghan was the lawsuit alleged coaching Schmidt, and afterwards at a competition in San Diego.
US Figure Skating formerly failed to comment on the lawsuit, but said it”supports most sufferers of sexual abuse and misconduct and supports anyone who has been mistreated or suspects abuse or misconduct to immediately report it to law enforcement, ” the U.S. Center for SafeSport or U.S. Figure Skating.”
The ice skating facility stated the asserts in the lawsuit were”quite serious” and”deserve a thorough investigation.” The facility had yet to get the litigation and stated it was informed by news outlets and requests.
The US Center for SafeSport formerly suspended Callaghan in March 2018, after allegations he made sexual advances as soon as 1976 toward a second young figure skater, who stated he had been 13 at the moment.
In an email, Callaghan’s lawyer, Dean Groulx, told CNN that the ban declared a”sad day for US Olympic sports. A real giant at US figure skating is subject to a life ban without due process.”
Groulx blasted SafeSport, saying that the team”changed its rules in the middle of its evaluation of Richard Callaghan to execute what could only be characterized, in my estimation, as a witch hunt.”
Schmidt is a former member of the US National Figure Skating Team, his attorneys said.
“This statement is a significant victory for all who have suffered abuses from the prior legend of figure skating, Mr. Callaghan,” Schmidt said in a statement Thursday. He went on to accuse US Figure Skating of creating a”culture of abuse that lasted decades and now will be the first of many successes to emerge in reversing that.”
And Schmidt’s attorney, John Manly, hailed the decision, telling CNN,”That should have been done in the 90’s. It’s good news however small comfort to people he hurt”
Figure skater Tara Lipinski was trained by callaghan at the 1998 Winter Olympics to a gold medal. In addition, he coached 1996 world champion Todd Eldredge.
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