UK Sport to begin independent review into UK Athletics

Britain’s under-fire track and field governing body UK Athletics (UKA) will be the subject of an independent review after a turbulent 15 months, UK Sport announced on Tuesday.

In that time UK Athletics, which received 27 million pounds in UK Sport funding for the current Olympic cycle, has lost its CEO, performance director and chair and managed only five medals at the world championships in Doha, the lowest total since 2005.

UK Athletics has also been criticised for its handling of the fallout from the Alberto Salazar scandal, notably its decision to allow Mo Farah to continue training at the Nike Orgeon Project despite concerns raised about Salazar in 2015.

In a statement UK Sport, the body responsible for funding elite sport in Britain, said it had commissioned an independent first stage review to define the key components of a ‘fit for the future’ national governing body for athletics.

“Issues raised in recent months regarding the sport are of major concern to both UK Sport and to the leadership team at UK Athletics,” Sally Munday, CEO of UK Sport said on Tuesday.

“Our aim in commissioning this first stage review is to ensure we have a full understanding of the priority issues and any next steps required to help the sport move forward.”

The review will consider the strategy, leadership, governance, operation, culture and connectivity of UK Athletics within the context of the sport as a whole and sit alongside independent reviews into issues around the Nike Oregon Project.

Preliminary work will be undertaken by Sue Street, former Permanent Secretary at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

She will recommend next steps later in the next few months.

UKA performance director Neil Black stepped down after seven years in October following the poor performance in Doha and his past support for banned U.S. coach Salazar.

Shortly afterwards Zara Hyde Peters, who was to succeed Niels de Vos as CEO, opted against taking up the post because of newspaper revelations about her husband.

Chairman Richard Bowker also stepped down early in 2019.