Olympic champion figure skating coach Richard Callaghan banned for life over sexual misconduct claims

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Richard Callaghan, who coached Tara Lipinski during her Olympic gold medal run, has been banned from skating for life. (AP)
Richard Callaghan, who coached Tara Lipinski during her Olympic gold medal run, has been banned from skating for life. (AP)

Richard Callaghan, best known for coaching Tara Lipinski to the gold medal at the 1998 Olympics, has been banned for life following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport announced the decision on Wednesday, two weeks after Adam Schmidt accused the 73-year-old coach of sexually abusing him while he trained as a teenager from 1999 to 2001.

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Schmidt, previously known as Adam Badaani, filed a lawsuit against Callaghan, U.S. Figure Skating and the Onyx Ice Arena where he trained alleging that USFS failed to protect him after skater Craig Maurizi accused Callaghan of abusing him from 1977 to 1986 when he was as young as 13 years old.

“How did this happen?” Schmidt told ABC News after filing his lawsuit. “Why 20 years ago did everyone know and do nothing? Because if they would have done something then ... I never would have been abused.”

Maurizi went public with his allegations in 1999. U.S. Figure Skating dismissed Maurizi’s charges at the time, citing a bylaw that stipulated that sexual misconduct charges must be filed within 60 days of an alleged incident, according to ABC News.

Maurizi filed his allegations with SafeSport in 2018. Callaghan was subsequently suspended for 18 months.

USFS released a statement Wednesday in accordance with the Callaghan’s SafeSport ban, stating that it “has made Richard Callaghan permanently ineligible, in compliance with the policies and procedures of the U.S. Center for SafeSport. This action follows Callaghan’s March 6, 2018, suspension of membership."

Callaghan denies the allegations. In addition to coaching Lipinski, Callaghan coached Todd Eldredge to the 1996 world championship and six national championships.

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