Toni Minichiello has been banned from coaching for life by UK Athletics (UKA) over sexually inappropriate conduct after being found to have committed gross breaches of trust of the UKA Coach Licence Terms over a 15-year period.
Minichiello had guided Jessica Ennis-Hill to Olympic glory at the London 2012 Olympics and was a BBC commentator on athletics.
He was found to have committed 11 serious charges by an independent disciplinary case-management group appointed by the UK Athletics Board.
The independent panel found Minichiello’s actions to have had severe consequences for the mental health and mental wellbeing of the athletes under his charge.
The adjudication panel concluded the following:
- Minichiello made inappropriate sexual references and gestures to athletes
- failed to respect the athletes right to a private life by making intrusive enquiries and personal comments about their personal lives
- engaged in sexually physical behaviour, namely inappropriate and unwanted touching of athletes to whom he owed a duty of care
- engaged in inappropriate and sometimes aggressive behaviour, bullying and emotional abuse
- had mimicked sexual activity with athletes and inappropriately and unwantedly touched some, while also making intrusive enquiries and derogatory comments about their personal lives.
During the process of the disciplinary action, Minichiello’s coaching licence had expired and therefore cannot be subject to a suspension or sanction, however, UKA confirmed that it will not entertain any future application made by Minichiello for any future UKA Coach Licence.
UKA is the governing body for the sport of athletics in the UK. It is responsible for overseeing the governance of athletics events in the UK as well as athletes, their development, and athlete officials.
Rosina Cottage QC was instructed by UKA.