Ex-Olympic skater Ashley Wagner writes of assault

Former Olympian Ashley Wagner says she was sexually assaulted by another figure skater in 2008 when she 17.

The three-time national champion wrote in USA Today on Thursday that John Coughlin climbed into her bed after a party at a skating camp and began kissing and groping her. Coughlin was 22 at the time and took his life in January at 33.

Wagner says she was “absolutely paralyzed in fear.”

Wagner won an Olympic team bronze medal in 2014 and is now retired from competitive skating. She says she feared speaking out earlier because she competes in a sport in which judges determine success. She told the newspaper two factors helped change her mind — the emergence of the #MeToo movement and Coughlin’s coaching suspension in January by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, an organization dedicated to protecting young athletes from abuse.

USA Today also reported that Coughlin’s former pairs partner from 2004 through ’07, Bridget Namiotka, posted on Facebook in May that Coughlin “sexually abused” her for two years.

• Police arrested Ryder Cup player Thorbjorn Olesen on suspicion of sexually assaulting a female passenger while she was asleep on a flight to London, intoxication and failing to comply with the orders from the airline crew, British newspapers reported.

The Sun and the Independent cited Metropolitan Police as saying the 29-year-old was arrested when the British Airways flight landed Monday at Heathrow. Olesen played in the World Golf Championships event in Memphis last weekend, in which he tied for 27th.


Clemson tops preseason poll

Clemson is No. 1 in the USA Today preseason coaches’ football poll for the first time, followed by Alabama at No. 2. The defending champion Tigers received 59 of a possible 65 first-place votes and the Crimson Tide got the rest. Georgia was No. 3, followed by Oklahoma and Ohio State. No. 6 LSU and No. 8 Florida gave the SEC four top-10 teams. The Associated Press preseason Top 25 will be released Aug. 19.

WNBA: Jonquel Jones had 15 points and 14 rebounds and Courtney Williams scored 12 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter as the host Connecticut Sun beat the Phoenix Mercury 68-62. Phoenix was without center Brittney Griner after the 6:23 mark of the second quarter because of an ankle injury. … Arike Ogunbowale scored 22 points and fellow rookie Megan Gustafson added 11 points and eight rebounds as the Dallas Wings beat the visiting New York Liberty 87-64 to move out of last place.

NHL: The Rangers bought out the final two seasons of defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk’s contract. He played only two seasons after signing a $26.6 million, four-year contract and had just seven goals and 44 assists in 119 games.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Ex-Olympic-skater-Ashley-Wagner-writes-of-assault-14275037.php.

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