Dalilah Sappenfield, US Figure Skating, Olympics

US Figure Skating Coach Banned For Physical Misconduct, Other Accusations

U.S. Olympic pairs figure skating coach Dalilah Sappenfield has been banned for life by the U.S. Center for SafeSport after some troubling allegations, which include physical misconduct, emotional misconduct, retaliation, abuse of process and failure to report a potential SafeSport violation.

The New York Post delved into the details.

"SafeSport, a nonprofit started in 2017 that investigates abuse and misconduct reports, announced the discipline in its centralized disciplinary database on Wednesday, listing 'permanent ineligibility' as the action taken in the case," the outlet reported. "Sappenfield, who was temporarily barred during an investigation into the allegations of misconduct by 2016 U.S. pairs champion Tarah Kayne in 2021, has the right to appeal the lifetime ban punishment."

SafeSport began its investigation into Sappenfield after he allegedly verbally abused one of his skaters, which reportedly led to her "cutting her left wrist with a razor blade in the summer of 2019 in her dorm room at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado," the Post wrote.

"Culture change is happening," SafeSport CEO Ju'Riese Colon said in a statement to USA TODAY. "Actions that were once tolerated or ignored are no longer accepted, and accountability is taking root.

"That's progress but creating long-term culture change requires steadfast commitment by everyone in the sports community to fostering safe environments for athletes to fulfill their potential. Those who cling to toxic tactics will be left behind and on the wrong side of history."

Per USA Today: "Sappenfield is well known in skating circles as the coach and good friend of John Coughlin, the two-time national pairs champion who died by suicide at 33 on Jan. 18, 2019, one day after he received an interim suspension from SafeSport due to three allegations of sexual abuse."