Toni Minichiello banned for all times by UK Athletics over sexually inappropriate conduct


Toni Minichiello, the coach who guided Jessica Ennis-Hill to gold on the London 2012 Olympics, has been banned for all times from coaching athletes after an investigation discovered he had engaged in sexually inappropriate behaviour, emotional abuse and bullying.

In an announcement, UK Athletics stated the findings of a disciplinary panel had been “of the utmost seriousness”, and included gross breaches of belief by Minichiello which had led to extreme penalties for the psychological well being and wellbeing of a few of his athletes. The Guardian understands that Ennis-Hill shouldn’t be a type of athletes.

Minichiello, who was suspended final yr pending an investigation into complaints from a number of feminine athletes and coaches was discovered to have breached his teaching licence over a 15-year interval in quite a few methods by the Unbiased Case Administration Group, together with:

  • Making inappropriate sexual references and gestures to athletes, together with mimicking “feminine genitalia and oral intercourse”, telling an athlete to “suck my ****” and ceaselessly referring to his penis as his “spicy Italian sausage”

  • Failing to respect the athletes proper to a personal life by making intrusive enquiries and private feedback about their private lives, together with asking an athlete if she had “ever had intercourse whereas doing weights”

  • Partaking in sexually bodily behaviour, particularly inappropriate and undesirable touching of athletes to whom he owed an obligation of care, together with touching two athletes’ breasts and “dry humping” to imitate sexual exercise.

  • Partaking in inappropriate and typically aggressive behaviour, bullying and emotional abuse together with one athlete being made to sit down with a cone on her head to imitate a dunce’s cap.

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“They quantity to numerous breaches of the UKA coach licence phrases over a 15-year interval,” UK Athletics added. “They represent gross breaches of belief by Mr Minichiello which have had extreme penalties for the psychological well being and psychological wellbeing of the athletes below his cost.”

UK Athletics stated that as Minichiello’s teaching licence had expired they had been unable to droop or sanction him. However as a result of seriousness of the allegations, they’d not permit him to educate once more.

“It’s famous that through the course of of those disciplinary issues, Mr Minichiello’s teaching licence expired and subsequently can’t be suspended/topic to a sanction,” UKA stated. “Subsequently, UKA has determined that it’s going to not entertain any future utility made by Mr Minichiello for a UKA coach licence in perpetuity.

“The issuance of a UKA licence to a coach is basically a illustration on behalf of UKA that the coach in query will be trusted with the athletes below his cost,” it added. “UKA is firmly of the view that there’ll by no means be a time sooner or later at which it will be applicable to grant that assurance and challenge such a licence.”

UK Athletics stated that different allegations made towards Minichiello had been unproven.

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Minichiello, who additionally guided Ennis-Hill to world titles in 2009, 2011 and 2015 and silver at Rio 2016, has all the time denied any wrongdoing.

He was previously the nationwide occasion coach for mixed occasions and switched roles in 2010 to grow to be a UK Athletics Olympic coach, permitting him to focus completely on Ennis. In 2012 he was named Coach of the 12 months, an award offered by the Princess Royal.

Shortly afterwards he additionally received the BBC Sports activities Character of the 12 months Coach Award in 2012 for his work with Ennis. Minichiello, who was a longstanding critic of UK Athletics, was till not too long ago additionally the chair of the British Basketball Federation.

“UKA will share the result of this adjudication and choice regarding any future licence utility with each UK Sport and the Athletics Integrity Unit for his or her consciousness,” UKA added. “UKA needs to recognise those that got here ahead to provide proof on this case. We thank them and strongly encourage anybody with a priority to come back ahead.”

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