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Jessica Ennis-Hill’s old coach handed life ban for ‘sexually physical behaviour’

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JESSICA ENNIS-HILL’s former coach has been banned from training athletes for life after being found guilty of “engaging in sexually inappropriate behaviour”.

Toni Minichiello was suspended last year after “multiple female athletes and coaches” accused him of extreme misconduct.

The 56-year-old was found guilty of "engaging in sexually inappropriate behaviour" with athletes over a 15-year period
Minichiello is the former coach of Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill
Minichiello has vehemently denied any wrongdoing

Minichiello was suspended last year pending an investigation into complaints about his conduct over a 15-year period.

He was accused of “making inappropriate sexual references and gestures to athletes” and “making intrusive enquiries and personal comments about their personal lives”.

The complainants also accused Minichiello of “engaging in sexually physical behaviour”, “unwanted touching of athletes” and “engaging in inappropriate and sometimes aggressive behaviour, bullying and emotional abuse”.

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And following a lengthy investigation into the allegations, UK Athletics has concluded there were “gross breaches of trust by Minichiello” and have banned him from coaching athletes.

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An excerpt of a statement on Minichiello’s actions read: “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 Mr Minichiello which have had severe consequences for the mental health and mental wellbeing of the athletes under his charge.”

It added: “It is noted that during the process of these disciplinary matters, Mr Minichiello’s coaching licence expired and therefore cannot be suspended/subject to a sanction.

“Therefore, UKA has decided that it will not entertain any future application made by Mr Minichiello for a UKA coach licence in perpetuity.

“The issuance of a UKA licence to a coach is essentially a representation on behalf of UKA that the coach in question can be trusted with the athletes under his charge.

“UKA is firmly of the view that there will never be a time in the future at which it would be appropriate to grant that assurance and issue such a licence.”

Minichiello – who has vehemently denied any wrongdoing – has escaped serious punishment from UKA as his coaching licence had already expired.

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According to The Guardian, Dame Ennis-Hill was not one of the complainants against Minichiello.

Minichiello guided Ennis-Hill to world titles in 2009, 2011 and 2015 and a silver medal at Rio 2016.

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UKA added: “UKA wishes to recognise those who came forward to give evidence in this case.

“We thank them and strongly encourage anyone with a concern to come forward.”

Source: The Sun

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