Ashley Wagner encourages others to speak up after sharing story of sexual assault by John Coughlin in 2008

Olympic bronze medallist says she wants "to make sport safer" for young figure skaters

Olympic bronze medal-winning figure skater Ashley Wagner says she was sexually assaulted by former USA teammate John Coughlin in 2008.

In a nine-minute video and essay published by USA Today on Thursday (1st August), Wagner said she had "chosen to speak up" more than a decade later in the hope that her story would help make sport safer for young skaters.

The 28-year-old added on instagram that "people need to talk more about these experiences, that they need to have a bright light turned on the dark corners where they thrive."

Wagner said the incident took place after a house party during a figure skating camp at Colorado Springs when she was 17.

Fellow American Coughlin was 22 at the time. He went on to win U.S. national titles in 2011 and 2012.

Coughlin committed suicide in January 2019, a day after being suspended from the sport by U.S. Figure Skating and the U.S. Centre for SafeSport for unspecified reasons.

Wagner is a three-time U.S. National figure skating champion, a World Championship silver medallist in 2016, and winner of Winter Olympic bronze at Sochi 2014.

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