The new UK Athletics head, Joanna Coates has threatened that any employee who does not share her vision for ‘ethical success’ will be shown the way out quickly.
Speaking against the reported row between UKA and UK Anti-Doping which the former refused to hand over some internal documents perceived to be sensitive medical report.
“There are definitely plans to hand it over,” insisted Coates, who said UKA was not trying to delay the process but simply adhering to “certain processes and certain elements of confidentiality” that have to be upheld before the the information can be released.
“We are an organisation that has been highly criticised for not following process and on this occasion we are absolutely following process and we’re still being criticised.”
On the report of independent enquiry by the sports barrister John Mehrzad and how the organisation handle the dealings with Salazar and the issue relating to former performance director Neil Black and the head of endurance, Barry Fudge, both which threatened to quit if the board cut its ties with the American coach. Black left UKA in October, his exit due in no small part to his support of Salazar and his failure to hit medal targets at the World Athletics Championships. Fudge remains in his role.
“Performance cannot dictate a business, that’s how I feel,” Coates said. “Major decisions should be made at an executive level and people should understand what’s happening in their business. We will be reviewing the entire organisation and seeing if people are fit for purpose to drive this business forward. I don’t want to name particular people because I don’t think it’s fair to do that.”
Coates said that while she has some concerns, she is hopeful none of Salazar’s methods have been adopted by other coaches or athletes governed by UKA. “We have been reviewed and audited and reviewed again in so many different areas of the business that I truly hope that there are no skeletons in the cupboard,” she said.
“We have an opportunity to write a strategy for the organisation based on very clear behaviour that I want to see exhibited. If there are people in the organisation that don’t feel that plan is right and don’t exhibit those behaviours then we will remove them”, she added.