Federal judge dismisses former U.S. figure skating coach's lawsuit over suspension

By Takesha Thomas | Sep 6, 2018

Callaghan accused Safe Sport of not giving him due process before suspending him in July.  

FORT MYERS –– Suspended former U.S. figure skating coach Richard Callaghan lost his bid to lift a suspension from participating in Olympic activities.

Judge Sheri Polster Chappell of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida dismissed Callaghan's lawsuit against U.S. Center for Safe Sport. 

Safe Sport is an independent nonprofit focused on "ending all forms of abuse in sport," according to its website.

Callaghan accused the organization of not giving him due process before suspending him in July. But the court ruled Callaghan had not yet exhausted other administrative remedies, such as an independent arbitrator. 

Callaghan's suspension came after allegations of sexual misconduct with a former skater resurfaced. The allegations date back to 1999 when former competitive figure skater Craig Maurizi alleged that Callaghan had "engaged in an inappropriate but consensual sexual relationship" for more than 16 years, beginning when Maurizi was 18-years-old.

Callaghan denied the allegations.

Although Maurizi filed a complaint about Callaghan in 1999, any action was time barred. However, new rules enacted by Congress earlier this year eliminated the statute of limitations, so Maurizi re-filed his grievance. He also appeared on national television furthering the accusations against Callaghan. 

Callaghan has argued that he never received notice of his suspension. Instead, Callaghan said, he learned about it from a colleague. 

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