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Former star figure skater and local coach Ross Miner suspended for sexual harassment

Ross Miner finished second in the 2018 US Championships but did not make that year's Olympic team.Hannah Foslien

Ross Miner captured hearts at the US Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden in 2014 when he performed a “Boston Strong” routine following the Marathon bombings and the frightening manhunt in his adopted hometown of Watertown the previous year.

In 2018, Miner captured the silver medal at the US Championships.

Now, as a coach, the four-time medalist at Nationals has been suspended six months by the US Center for SafeSport from participating in any capacity associated with any US Olympic sport after he was found to have engaged in sexual harassment.

Efforts to reach Miner, who now coaches at the Mitchell Johansson Method program in Revere, were unsuccessful. His suspension became effective June 1.

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“We’re stunned,” said Doug Zeghibe, executive director of the Skating Club of Boston, which Miner represented for more than 15 years as an internationally recognized competitor. “This is something I never expected to hear.”

Ross Miner practices at the Skating Club of Boston in 2013.Barry Chin

Miner was a frequent visitor and respected figure at the club’s former rink in Brighton. Zeghibe said he has not seen Miner at the club’s new facility in Norwood since it opened in September.

“We haven’t been informed that our club is involved in this in any way,” Zeghibe said.

The MJM club was launched by retired figure skating standouts Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson, who had previously coached young skaters, including Miner, at the Skating Club of Boston since 1995.

Mitchell and Johansson did not respond to requests for comment. Their program operates out of the Cronin Skating Rink on Revere Beach Parkway.

The US Center for SafeSport, which Congress established in 2017 to investigate and sanction sexual misconduct in Olympic sports, does not provide details of the allegations against those it disciplines. SafeSport’s website states that Miner also faces probation and must undergo an education program before he can return to coaching.

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Miner, 30, is the first person in Massachusetts affiliated with US Figure Skating to be punished by SafeSport. Nationally, 25 people associated with US Figure Skating have been disciplined by SafeSport or the governing body for sexual misconduct.

The 30-year-old Ross Miner is a four-time medalist at Nationals.The Boston Globe/Globe Freelance

Miner is the most prominent member of US Figure Skating to be sanctioned since John Zimmerman, a pairs coach, former Olympian, and member of the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame, was suspended for two years in March after he allegedly covered up the sexual abuse of two of his students.

Miner, a longtime member of Team USA, earned national medals at every level of competition, including finishing third, third, and second at the US Championships from 2011-13.

He became the center of controversy after he finished second in the 2018 nationals in San Jose, which also served as the US Olympic Trials.

In other Olympic sports, Miner would have clinched a spot on the US Olympic team with a second-place finish at the trials. But US Figure Skating considers a skater’s entire body of work over the previous year, among other factors, and fourth-place finisher Adam Rippon was chosen over Miner to compete at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang. Rippon won bronze there.

Mitchell lashed out at USA Figure Skating for bypassing Miner.

“I feel like if US Figure Skating knew they weren’t going to send Ross, it’s really gutless of them to not tell him in advance,” Mitchell told USA Today at the time. “You let him spend all this money and time and energy to try and achieve his dream. If you knew he couldn’t make it, why we did fly here, why did we pay for a hotel, why did we pay for training, if it was decided already?”

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The 2018 Olympic trials were Miner’s last hurrah as a major national competitor. The MJM website states that he began training under Mitchell and Johansson in 2003 and began helping them coach in 2015.

“Since our move to Revere, he has begun to work with our elite and junior elite track athletes,” the site states. “He enjoys bringing a current competitor’s perspective to the coaching team.”


Bob Hohler can be reached at robert.hohler@globe.com.