Figure skating coach Callaghan banned by SafeSport

FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 15, 1997 file photo, figure skater Tara Lipinski with her coach Richard Callaghan receives a hug after it was announced she won the gold medal at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Nashville, Tenn. Richard Callaghan, who coached Tara Lipinski to Olympic gold, has been banned from figure skating by the U.S. Center for SafeSport for sexual misconduct.

Richard Callaghan, who coached Tara Lipinski to Olympic gold, has been banned from figure skating by the U.S. Center for SafeSport for sexual misconduct.

Callaghan, who also coached six-time U.S. champion Todd Eldredge, was ruled "permanently ineligible" on Wednesday for actions involving a minor. Callaghan was accused by a former student, Adam Schmidt, in a lawsuit. Schmidt alleged that Callaghan sexually abused him from 1999-2001. Schmidt was 14 in 1999.

Also in 1999, Callaghan was investigated for sexual misconduct involving another coach, Craig Maurizi, but U.S. Figure Skating dismissed those charges. Maurizi said the incidents began in 1976 when he was 13, and continued for years.

Now 73, Callaghan was suspended in March 2018 by SafeSport and by the federation. He sued SafeSport, but the lawsuit was dismissed.

U.S. Figure Skating said in a statement Wednesday 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."

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