British track coach Tony Minichiello effectively banned for life for sexual misconduct


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British track coach Tony Minichiello was banned for life on Tuesday after allegations of misconduct, including “sexually physical conduct” with unidentified athletes over a 15-year period, UK athletics’ governing body announced.

Minichiello was temporarily suspended last year following complaints from female athletes. Minichiello was found guilty by a jury of four charges, which the governing body said amounted to “gross breach of trust”.

“He committed a complete breach of trust by Mr. Minichiello, which has had severe consequences for the mental health and psychological well-being of the athletes under his care,” UK Athletics said.

Minichiello vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

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Tony Minichiello coaches Jessica Ennis during the IAAF World Indoor Championships at Atakoy Athletics Arena on March 9, 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Tony Minichiello coaches Jessica Ennis during the IAAF World Indoor Championships at Atakoy Athletics Arena on March 9, 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.
(Ian Walton/Getty Images)

“I cannot fully express my disappointment with this decision and with UK Athletics’ unfair handling of this process,” Minichiello said in a statement. “I have been a coach for over 30 years and while I am firm and demanding, I have never misbehaved with any of my athletes, as many of them will attest.”

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Great Britain's Jessica Ennis-Hill talks with coach Tony Minichiello as she competes in the women's long jump at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on July 25, 2015 in London.

Great Britain’s Jessica Ennis-Hill talks with coach Tony Minichiello as she competes in the women’s long jump at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on July 25, 2015 in London.
(Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Minichiello made his name in coaching by guiding British track and field star Jessica Ennis-Hill to three world titles and Olympic gold and silver medals from 2009 to 2015.

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Tony Minichiello, coach of Jessica Ennis-Hill, during the IAAF World Indoor Championships at Atakoy Athletics Arena on March 9, 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Tony Minichiello, coach of Jessica Ennis-Hill, during the IAAF World Indoor Championships at Atakoy Athletics Arena on March 9, 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.
(Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Minichiello’s coaching license expired at the time of the prosecution, so he cannot be suspended or sanctioned by UK Athletics’ governing body.

Although he could not be suspended, UK Athletics effectively banned him from coaching again, “as such, UKA has decided that it will not permanently consider any future application made by Mr Minichiello for a UKA coaching licence,” British Track said.



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