Former UK Athletics coach Toni Minichiello banned for life for ‘sexually physical behaviour’ | UK News

A former UK track and field coach has been banned for life after an investigation found he engaged in “sexual intercourse” with athletes, bullying and emotional abuse.

Toni Minichiello is known for coaching Jessica Ennis-Hill of Team GB to triathlon glory at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

UK Athletics found he had breached “a large number of violations” of the terms of his coaching license over a period of 15 years.

It said the findings “constitute an overall breach of trust” and are “of the highest severity”.

The investigation concluded that he had imitated sexual activity and that he had commented and touched the athletes’ breasts.

He was also found to have used derogatory language, such as when asked what training would result in replying “suck my ***” and also referred to his penis as “touching” Spicy Italian Sausage”.

Since Minichiello’s coaching license expired during the disciplinary process, he could not be suspended or sanctioned.

However, the regulator has decided not to deal with any future applications made by Minichiello for a trainer license.

“UKA has reviewed the matter and has determined that these findings are taken extremely seriously,” a statement from the UK Athletics Authority (UKA) read.

“They constitute a breach of trust by Mr Minichiello, which has serious consequences for the mental health and mental health of the athletes under his charge.

“The granting of a UKA license to a coach essentially represents to the UKA that the coach in question can be trusted with the athletes under his charge.

“UKA firmly holds that there will never be a time in the future when it may be appropriate to grant such assurance and grant such a license.

“UKA has decided that it will not be addressing any future applications made by Mr Minichiello for a permanent UKA coach license.”

Athletics - Aviva Indoor Championships & Challenges UK UK - British Institute of Sport, Sheffield - 11/2/12 Jessica Ennis talks to her coach Toni Minichiello during the Women's High Jump Tournament Credits Forced: Action Pictures / Steven Paston Livepic
Toni Minichiello is known for coaching Jessica Ennis-Hill of Team GB

The panel found that Minichiello:

  • Making inappropriate sexual mentions and gestures towards athletes
  • Disrespecting athletes’ right to privacy by making requests and comments that intrude on their personal lives
  • Engaging in physical sexual conduct, namely inappropriate and unwanted touching of athletes for whom he is obligated to care
  • Engaging in inappropriate and sometimes aggressive behavior, bullying, and emotional abuse

Sky News has approached Minichiello for comment.

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