Governing body could impose fresh life bans on coaches after it was announced that they will review safeguarding cases from past years

Athletics coaches in Britain with a restricted licence – or those serving a limited suspension – could now be banned for life following the news that UK Athletics will re-examine historical cases.

This could result in further sanctions being needed, with the governing body planning to publicly announce that a coach has received a longer or permanent ban from the sport.

UKA said in a statement on Thursday (Jan 27): “Following an Independent Safeguarding Case Review commissioned by UKA in 2021, a recommendation has been made to UKA concerning the sanctions applied to a number of cases reviewed as a result of this exercise. The review, commissioned from Sport Resolutions, was requested by UKA to address any inconsistency in the application of sanctions across historical safeguarding cases.

“The recommendation has been that UKA should undertake a review of all cases where there has not been a permanent ban or disqualification in relation to safeguarding concerns reported to UKA of sexual activity or grooming with a child or an adult at risk or a person being coached by the respondent.”

Mark Munro, UKA’s interim CEO, said: “We have taken a very proactive approach in this area, given that there has been a significant overhaul of our policies, processes and the overall system, it would be remiss of us not to review the sanctions applied in the past in line with our current threshold levels.

“I would like to thank Sport Resolutions for the work they did on this review. In confirming the route we must now take utilising our new safeguarding standards and processes and having sanctions assessed by independent panels we will immediately begin this significant piece of work. It is essential that our sport is safe and this exercise is the latest stage in working towards that.

“We want anyone who has experienced abuse to trust that we will do the right thing and that can only be truly achieved if we root out those who should not be operating in our sport and prevent these individuals from being able to return. It sends out a very strong message that we will not turn our back on behaviours on the basis they are considered ‘historic’ or in the past.

“This work will begin immediately, and the priority is to recruit a further experienced caseworker to manage this project to ensure there is no workload impact on current case management. Once again we urge anyone to come forward if they have any safeguarding concerns and report it to us at www.uka.org.uk/submit-a-concern.”

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