American pairs ice skater John Coughlin committed suicide after a sexual misconduct allegation about him was exposed, his loved ones have claimed.
Before Coughlin, 33, killed himself on January 18, 2019 at his Kansas City, Missouri, home, he had received an interim suspension from the U.S. Center for SafeSport and US Figure Skating the day before -- for unspecified conduct.
He was barred from any activities sanctioned by the skating body or the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Coughlin was placed under a restriction by SafeSport, the body with exclusive jurisdiction over allegations of sexual misconduct in Olympic sports.
As the Daily Mail reported, the YouTube channel The Skating Lesson shared a screenshot of Coughlin's situation to Facebook on January 4.
Although the notice was vague, it caused a firestorm of speculative troll comments against the skater.
Someone wrote, "What a surprise, another pervert."
A friend of Coughlin has claimed that the responses devastated him, making him feel that he had "lost everything."
Another pal wrote on Facebook, "Words can be just as powerful as a bullet. To John, they were just that — bullets straight to his heart."
Before killing himself, Coughlin had told USA Today, "While I wish I could speak freely about the unfounded allegations levied against me, the SafeSport rules prevent me from doing so since the case remains pending.
"I note only that the SafeSport notice of allegation itself stated that an allegation in no way constitutes a finding by SafeSport or that there is any merit to the allegation."
Dalilah Sappenfield, Coughlin's former coach, told DailyMail.com, "I'm saddened with grief that a young man who was the kindest, caring, and extremely admired person hit such a low point because of the loss of all he knows.
"John lost his reputation, his name, his work, his dignity and what he loved most, skating. The irresponsibility of today's social media who became judge and jury is what made this beautiful young man to take his life."
Sappenfield added, "Everyone knows John was one of the good guys. Being shunned for allegations not proven was something I know was hard for him to live with, but the mere rumor of assault is what sent him over the edge."
Coughlin's sister Angela Laune had earlier written on Facebook on January 18, "My wonderful strong, amazingly compassionate brother John Coughlin took his own life earlier today. I have no words. I love you John...."
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