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John Lees STRIPED from Scottish Athletics Award after lifetime ban

John Lees STRIPPED from his prestigious Scottish Athletics award after former coach was given a lifetime ban from the sport for sexual misconduct towards athletes

  • Former coach John Lees was given a lifetime ban for sexual misconduct
  • Mhairi Maclennan has called for her former coach to be stripped of an award
  • Lees stripped of his Development Coach of the Year award



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Scottish Athletics have stripped disgraced coach John Lees of a prestigious award he won in 2018.

Scottish runner Mhairi Maclennan spoke exclusively to Sportsmail last week, calling on the abused coach to withdraw his Development Coach of the Year award.

Lees was banned for life last month for inappropriate behavior towards athletes. He was found guilty by an independent appeals committee on five charges, and admitted two others.

John Lees has been stripped of his 2018 Development Coach of the Year award

John Lees has been stripped of his 2018 Development Coach of the Year award

Charges indicted included sexually touching, making a sexualized comment to a female athlete, endangering an athlete’s safety by “causing injury by applying a chiropractic adjustment” and providing chiropractic adjustments while not being properly qualified . Lees, meanwhile, admitted to massaging an athlete at home when she was under 18 and making sexualized comments to athletes in his training group.

British runner Maclennan said it was wrong for his prize to stand given the abuse and because his license had been permanently revoked.

The board of the sport’s governing body has now decided to approve a recommendation from its nomination committee to withdraw the award, stressing that the committee has the authority to do so in “exceptional circumstances,” agreeing unanimously that “in this case withdrawal is appropriate’ ‘.

Mhairi Maclennan called for Lees to be stripped of the award after his lifetime ban

Mhairi Maclennan called for Lees to be stripped of the award after his lifetime ban

Mhairi Maclennan called for Lees to be stripped of the award after his lifetime ban

Colin Hutchison, chief executive of Scottish Athletics, said: “Behaviours that have emerged in this case have no place in sport and must be challenged.

“I would like to reiterate our thanks to the athletes who have come forward in this matter and reinforce our commitment to working with UK Athletics and all participants in the sport to address inappropriate behaviour.

Over the past 18 months, athletics safety policies and processes in the UK have been strengthened to ensure concerns are reported and addressed appropriately.

“We remind and encourage anyone with a welfare or safety concern or complaint to share it with UK Athletics via the MyConcern platform.”

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