Sheffield coach Toni Minichiello suspended following complaints from female athletes

The Sheffield coach who guided Jessica Ennis-Hill to Olympic glory has been suspended pending an investigation into complaints from female athletes.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 9:47 pm

UK Athletics said it had been forced to make a public announcement because Minichiello, 55, had breached his suspension.

The sport’s governing body said in a statement: “In light of a recent significant development, UK Athletics believes that it is important to issue this statement to the public clarifying the status of Mr Minichiello.

“Following complaints from female athletes, an investigation was commenced concerning Mr Minichiello’s behaviour. That investigation is ongoing.

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Toni Minichiello with Jessica Ennis-Hill
Toni Minichiello with Jessica Ennis-Hill

“In the interests of all concerned, UK Athletics initially resolved not to publicly announce Mr Minichiello’s suspension.

“However, UK Athletics has recently been made aware that Mr Minichiello has apparently breached the terms of his suspension.

“Specifically, Mr Minichiello has been seen coaching athletes at a facility in Sheffield, in clear contravention of the express terms of his suspension.

“For this reason, and to avoid similar occurrences happening in the future, UK Athletics has no alternative but to make the suspended status of Mr Minichiello public.”

UK Athletics said any athlete or coach suspended under investigation ‘remains innocent until proven guilty’, but added it ‘would not impose a suspension unless it thought the misconduct it was investigating was potentially serious’.

The statement added: “UK Athletics does not propose to make any further statement until either the point at which Mr Minichiello’s suspension is lifted, or a charge is preferred.”

Mr Minichiello coached Ennis-Hill to heptathlon gold at London 2012. She also won three world titles, and silver at Rio 2016.