The Athletics Canada Commissioner’s Office announced this week that as of Monday, May 6, 2019, Andy McInnis and Dr. Ken Porter of the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club have received lifetime bans, effective immediately, from Athletics Canada, member branches and clubs.
This ban comes after several reports of sexual misconduct had been reported and investigated, and a suspension was temporarily issued. The publication of the interim suspensions brought forward several men, now in their 50s and 60s, with allegations of sexual misconduct and assault. A number of women also came forward with allegations of inappropriate behaviour. It was tremendously brave of these men and women to come forward and their efforts are greatly appreciated. The full report can be found at: In-Plain-View-Report
If there are other members who were victims of sexual harassment or misconduct, you are encouraged to come forward and reach out to either us, or Athletics Canada.
As a member branch of Athletics Canada, Athletics Ontario is very supportive of the work and recommendations put forward by the Commissioner’s Office. We appreciate the role that they play in the complaints process and we will continue to work with them in future.
Investigations such as this one highlights the importance in sport, and to Athletics Ontario, that building a professional organization that meets the needs of its members is critical. Our new strategic priorities are examples of the steps that the organization plans to take to provide the best programs and services to our membership, with their interests in mind.
We take the matter of harassment in sport very seriously, having just developed and implemented some new Safe Sport practices of our own, and the Board firmly believes that something such as this is intolerable. Our members, athletes, volunteers, officials, and coaches deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and should feel safe at all times while practicing or competing in this sport.
We encourage everyone in our sport who has a concern about Safe Sport to review our webpage: athleticsontario.ca/safe-sport
Athletics Ontario will continue to work with Athletics Canada, other Provincial branches and our member clubs, on issues to ensure a Safe Sport Environment that we can all be proud of.
Shortly, we will be releasing revisions to our club membership policy requirements that were developed through the collaboration of several member clubs representing small, medium and large sized organizations with the specific aim of ensuring a safe sport environment for athlete, coaches, officials and volunteers.
President & Chair