Coach Minichiello banned for life over inappropriate conduct

Minichiello was provisionally suspended last year pending an investigation into complaints of sexual harassment from female athletes.

FILE PHOTO - Toni Minichiello, coach of Britain’s Jessica Ennis, watches Ennis compete in the women’s pentathlon high jump at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships at the Atakoy Athletics Arena in Istanbul.

FILE PHOTO - Toni Minichiello, coach of Britain’s Jessica Ennis, watches Ennis compete in the women’s pentathlon high jump at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships at the Atakoy Athletics Arena in Istanbul. | Photo Credit: Adrian DENNIS

Minichiello was provisionally suspended last year pending an investigation into complaints of sexual harassment from female athletes.

Toni Minichiello, who guided Britain's Jessica Ennis-Hill to the heptathlon gold at London 2012, has been banned for life after a disciplinary panel appointed by the UK Athletics (UKA) Board found him to have engaged in sexually inappropriate behaviour.

Minichiello was provisionally suspended last year pending an investigation into complaints from female athletes. The panel on Tuesday announced Minichiello had made inappropriate sexual references and gestures to athletes.

Reuters has requested comment from Minichiello, who has always denied any wrongdoing.

The panel added that he also failed to respect the athletes right to a private life by making intrusive enquiries and personal comments about their personal lives and engaged in sexually physical behaviour -- the unwanted touching of athletes.

He engaged in inappropriate and sometimes aggressive behaviour, bullying as well as emotional abuse, the panel said.

"UKA has considered the matter and decided that these findings are of the utmost seriousness," the governing body said in a statement https://www.uka.org.uk/news/news-and-features/result-of-the-adjudication-in-uk-athletics-v-minichiello. "They amount to a large number of breaches of the UKA Coach Licence Terms over a 15-year period.

"They constitute gross breaches of trust by Minichiello which have had severe consequences for the mental health and mental wellbeing of the athletes under his charge.

"It is noted that during the process of these disciplinary matters, Minichiello's coaching licence expired and therefore cannot be suspended/subject to a sanction. Therefore, UKA has decided it will not entertain any future application made by Minichiello for a UKA Coach Licence in perpetuity."

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