Chair Chris Clark “fully supports” new CEO’s appointment after allegations surface over her husband

UK Athletics chair Chris Clark has insisted he “fully supports” the appointment of new chief executive Zara Hyde Peters, who has been caught up in newspaper reports which have raised questions over whether or not her husband continued to coach young athletes after receiving a permanent ban from teaching following “an inappropriate relationship” with a 15-year-old.

The Times alleges Mike Peters managed and coached a team with Coventry Godiva Harriers which included athletes under the age of 18 following the incident and did so without the relevant disclosure checks. However, Hyde Peters, who was a coaching co-ordinator and vice chair at the midlands club, insists her husband only coached senior athletes.

The former international endurance runner will still take up her position as UKA CEO on December 1, with Clark saying: “I fully support Zara’s appointment as CEO and feel she will do an excellent job.

“There can be no compromise however on matters relating to welfare and safeguarding and it’s important we clarify the facts and processes undertaken as well as the decisions made in relation to the issues raised.

“The UK Athletics welfare team will work with all parties concerned and with my personal oversight as Chairman to review the matter fully and report back to me.”

A UK Sport spokesperson said: “We were not previously aware of any of the issues reported by The Times in relation to Mike Peters. Clearly the accusations laid out are extremely serious and we are in urgent discussions with UK Athletics to seek all of the facts relating to this issue.

“We treat safeguarding matters with the utmost importance and all our investments into national governing bodies are contingent on a sport meeting standards set out by the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) and the Ann Craft Trust (in relation to Adults at Risk).

“The integrity of the high performance system is paramount and so we will quickly but thoroughly establish the facts of this case before deciding on the appropriate response.”

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