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UK Athletics body stops Hyde Peters over allegations against her husband

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Zara Hyde Peters


Zara Hyde Peters will not take up a position as UK Athletics’ new chief executive after allegations made about her husband came to light. The Times alleges Mike Peters was allowed to continue coaching at a club where she was vice-chair despite being banned from teaching over an “inappropriate relationship” with a 15-year-old schoolgirl. Hyde Peters was due to start her role with UK Athletics on 1 December but a review led to a decision to not go ahead with the appointment.

UK Athletics chair Chris Clark said in a statement: “Following recent press reports and significant media attention focused on Zara Hyde Peters, the UK Athletics Board convened a meeting this past Sunday 24 November and discussed the situation fully.“Following the meeting I had time with Zara to review the situation and we have agreed together, that she will now not be taking up her position as CEO on 1 December.”

BBC Sport understands the board of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will discuss whether to temporarily suspend Hyde Peters – a board member of Birmingham 2022 and also the chair of its Athletes’ Advisory Committee.

The governing body, the Commonwealth Games Federation wrote to the Birmingham 2022 organising committee urging them to suspend her from those two roles pending an investigation.The report in the Times claimed that Peters was allowed to continue coaching at the Coventry Godiva Harriers between 2012 and 2017 despite Hyde Peters, a former Great Britain distance runner, knowing he had been permanently barred from teaching in October 2012.

Peters was barred from teaching because of the inappropriate relationship between 2004 and 2005 while he worked as a PE teacher at Bilton School, Rugby. He was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct after being cleared of sexual misconduct.Less than a year before the next Olympics, one of the UK’s best publicly-funded sports governing bodies lurches from one crisis to the next.

UKA was already under significant scrutiny over its judgement and handling of the Alberto Salazar scandal, and its close relationship with the disgraced coach.

A 2015 review by the organisation cleared Sir Mo Farah to continue working with Salazar despite allegations of wrongdoing. In the wake of Salazar being banned by US Anti-Doping, the UKA Performance Director Neil Black stepped down following a disappointing World Championships.

And now the incoming chief executive has been axed from her £200,000 per year role just days before she was due to start.All-powerful funding agency UK Sport will now be asked whether a financial penalty should be the consequence of such turmoil – UKA currently gets £27m in funding from them for the Tokyo cycle.

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