British athletics coach John Lees is handed life ban for sexual misconduct

British athletics coach John Lees is handed life ban for sexual misconduct as independent panel reprimands trainer who ‘had no idea of boundaries’

  • A British athletics coach has been banned for life for sexual misconduct 
  • John Lees was found guilty of five charges and he admitted to other counts 
  • The panel scolded the international coach who ‘had no idea of boundaries’ 











British athletics John Lees (pictured) has been given a life ban for sexual misconduct

A British athletics coach has been banned for life for inappropriate behaviour towards athletes.

John Lees, who has coached international level athletes, was found guilty of five charges by an independent appeal committee and he admitted to two others.

Upheld charges included sexual touching, making a sexualised comment to a female athlete, endangering an athlete’s safety by ‘causing injury by administering a chiropractic adjustment’ and providing chiropractic adjustments while not being appropriately qualified.

Lees had admitted to massaging an athlete at his home when she was under 18, and making sexualised comments to athletes in his training group.

Scottish cross-country champion Mhairi Maclennan, who waived her right to anonymity, was among those to testify against him.

The panel concluded: ‘We are left with the view that he habitually behaved inappropriately, had disregard for the rules and, as we have already noted, had no idea of boundaries.’

The UKA’s interim chief executive, Mark Munro, said: ‘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.’

Mhairi Maclennan (pictured) testified against Lees who was found guilty of five charges while admitting to two others

Mhairi Maclennan (pictured) testified against Lees who was found guilty of five charges while admitting to two others

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