18th November 2021

UKA statement: Mr John Lees Coach Licence permanently withdrawn

Mr John Lees Coach Licence permanently withdrawn

*Please note that the attached Sanction Decision contains graphic descriptions

An independent Appeal Committee of UK Athletics (UKA) Chaired by leading Queen’s Counsel, Jane Mulcahy QC, has imposed a permanent ban on former athletics coach John Lees from holding a UKA Coach Licence.

The Panel found Mr Lees guilty of five charges relating to his misconduct towards athletes, an additional two charges having been also admitted by Mr Lees.

To view the published Sanction Decision please follow this link.

In reaching its Decision in relation to his liability for breach of the UKA Coaching Licence Rules, the Panel concluded “We are left with the view that [Mr Lees] habitually behaved inappropriately, had disregard for the rules and, as we have already noted, had no idea of boundaries.”

Mr Mark Munro, the Interim CEO of UK Athletics, commented:

“We are pleased with the Decision by the panel. Athletics cannot tolerate the type of behaviour highlighted in this case. This Decision shows that welfare is at the front and centre of UK Athletics’ concerns and at the heart of what we stand for.

“It has taken great courage for the athletes abused in this case to come forward and give evidence against this coach. We thank them and would strongly encourage any individual who considers that they have been abused by anyone within the sport to come forward.  It is essential that we challenge any negative culture or poor behaviours and we will tirelessly seek to identify and remove from the sport anyone who abuses the trust reposed in them by athletes and UK Athletics.”

To contact us with any safeguarding concern please visit https://www.uka.org.uk/submit-a-concern/