Australian figure skater banned by U.S. Center for SafeSport for sexual misconduct

The U.S. Center for SafeSport has permanently banned Australian Olympic figure skater Brendan Kerry for sexual misconduct involving a minor, the body said in a ruling on Tuesday.

The ruling, which is subject to appeal, bans Kerry for life from any events or activities controlled by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC).

Kerry, 29, competed at three Winter Olympics and was one of Australia's two flagbearers at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Games, his last major international competition.

Kerry was a registered coach with U.S. Figure Skating in the 2016-17 season, when the misconduct was alleged to have occurred.

Attempts to contact Kerry through Ice Skating Australia (ISA) were not immediately successful.

ISA said in a statement it had been unaware of the investigation or the sanction until its release on Wednesday morning Australia time.

"ISA is deeply committed to the safety and wellbeing of all athletes and considers this matter to be of the utmost seriousness," it added.

"We are in the process gathering and considering all information available in relation to the determination by the US Centre for SafeSport."

The U.S. Center for SafeSport was established in 2017 with the aim of protecting athletes, particularly minors, from sexual abuse in Olympic sports programs in the United States.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Olympic figure skater banned by U.S. Center for SafeSport