Senior Athletics Coach Rana Reider to be Investigated for Sexual Misconduct | Athletics

One of the world’s leading track and field coaches is to be investigated by the U.S. Center for SafeSport after multiple sexual misconduct complaints were filed against him, the Guardian can reveal.

Rana Reider has gained a sparkling reputation in the sport after guiding several Olympic and world champions to glory, including Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games 200m gold medalist Andre de Grasse and world triple jump champion Christian Taylor . The American also coaches many other elite athletes, including Britons Adam Gemili and Daryll Neita, from his Florida-based Tumbleweed Track Club.

However, the 51-year-old American’s behavior off the track needs to be investigated by the US-based Center for SafeSport, a powerful and independent body that handles investigations and complaints of abuse and misconduct in Olympic sports.

The Guardian has also learned that allegations against Reider have led UK Athletics to warn Gemili and Neita to cease contact with their renowned coach or that their membership in the world-class program, including lottery funding, will be suspended. A similar message was sent to other British athletes who were considering moving to the United States to train under Reider.

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Contacted by the Guardian on Tuesday, Reider denied being aware of the SafeSport investigation and said he had not been made aware of UK Athletics’ instructions to Gemili and Neita. “You can call my lawyer because it’s news for me,” he added.

Reider’s attorney, Ryan Stephens, said the allegations against his client were “unverified” and “unproven”.

“SafeSport did not issue notice of the allegations to Rana,” he told the Guardian. “The timing and suspicious motives attached to these unproven attacks on Rana’s reputation need to be fully investigated and monitored, and they have not been.”

It is understood that the warning to Gemili and Neita came after the UKA took advice from its Standards, Ethics and Rules Committee. Both athletes then received a letter telling them the UKA did not think it was appropriate for them to continue to be associated with Reiner at this time.

In a statement, the UKA told The Guardian: “As part of UK Athletics’ commitment to ensuring consistency of proper conduct in all areas without any exceptions, we have performed additional due diligence when issues arise. have been raised regarding UK athlete support staff.

“Following reports from the US Center for Sports Safety that multiple sexual misconduct complaints have been filed 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.

Reiner has guided Gemili for most of his career, during which time the popular 28-year-old broke 10 seconds in the 100m and 20 seconds in the 200m and inspired the British relay team at the World Championships. 4x100m relay gold and silver medals in 2017 and 2019.

Meanwhile, 25-year-old Neita had a breakthrough year in 2021, running for the first time under 11 seconds in the 100m, reaching the Olympic final and winning bronze in the 4x100m relay at the Tokyo Olympics.

On its website, the US Center for SafeSport says its mission is “uniquely devoted to ending sexual, physical and emotional abuse on behalf of athletes around the world” – and that it is “authorized by Congress. to help abuse prevention, education and accountability. root in all sports, on all terrains ”.

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In July 2021, the center issued an indefinite ban on coach Alberto Salazar for sexual and emotional misconduct.

Reider, who is considered a brilliant technical sprint trainer, joined the UKA after London 2012 after a long university career in the United States to initially oversee the sprint, hurdle sprint, horizontal jump and relay programs. He worked with a group of athletes including Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Dwain Chambers and Richard Kilty before leaving in 2014.

After leaving the UKA he criticized some British athletes, saying: “Maybe they feel comfortable. Maybe they get the funding. Maybe they’re big fish in a small pond and that’s how they like it.

SafeSport has been contacted for comment.

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