The Guardian has recently revealed that leading track and field coach Rana Reider is to be investigated by the US Center for Safesport after multiple complaints of sexual misconduct were made against him. SafeSport investigates claims of emotional, physical and sexual misconduct in sport, although the independent body has not yet released a statement relating to Reider.
Reider was employed by UK Athletics as sprints and jumps coach from 2012-2014 before moving his training base to the Netherlands and then to Florida. He trains numerous elite athletes, including British sprinters Adam Gemili and Daryll Neita, at his Florida-based Tumbleweed Track Club.
On receiving the information from SafeSport, UK Athletics has since ordered Gemili and Neita to ‘cease all association’ with Reider until the investigation ends. After being contacted by the Guardian, Reider denied knowledge of an investigation. Reider’s lawyer has said that no formal allegations have been made against his client.
In a statement UK Athletics said “As part of UK Athletics commitment to ensuring appropriate conduct is consistent across all areas without any exceptions, we completed additional due diligence where issues have been raised about the support personnel of UK athletes. Following information from the US Centre for SafeSport that multiple complaints of sexual misconduct have been made against coach Rana Reider and that an investigation in the US is imminent, UK Athletics has informed UK athletes currently being coached by him to cease all association until the conclusion of this process.“
It is understood that if athletes choose to remain part of Reider’s training group, they will have their membership into the World Class Programme suspended. UK Athletics will help source alternative coaching where required. Gemili and Neita have not severed ties with Reider and both have now been sent two letters by UK Athletics, reminding them they will lose their place on the World Class Programme and all lottery funding if they do not do so.
Interim UK Athletics CEO Mark Munro has said “whether it’s the Rena situation or any other coach, we need to make sure that we are protecting our athletes first and foremost. So we need to make sure that environment is as safe as it needs to be. We will be in a better position in the next couple of weeks to know what they plan to do.”
Further developments are awaited.
Michael Lee, Solicitor, BLM
The National Association for People Abused in Childhood is a national charity offering support to adult survivors of all types of childhood abuse, including physical, emotional, sexual and neglect. As well as advocating on behalf of survivors in the media and elsewhere, NAPAC also trains professionals who have frequent contact with survivors of child abuse as part of their working environment. If you have been affected by the issues raised in today’s blog, or would like additional support, please use the links above.