Adam Gemili and Laviai Nielsen have been removed from UK Athletics’ world-class programme after opting to stay with their coach Rana Reider, who is the subject of a Safe Sport US investigation after multiple complaints of sexual misconduct were made against him.
It means that both sprinters will no longer receive lottery funding, which can be worth up to £28,000, or medical support from UKA while they remain with Reider in Florida. However, a third British athlete Daryll Neita, who was coached by Reider to the women’s Olympic 100m final, will stay on funding after deciding to leave his Tumbleweed training group.
In a statement, UK Athletics said: “UKA’s position has not changed in that any athlete working directly with Rana Reider given the confirmed complaints of sexual misconduct against him from US Safe Sport, will not be able to be supported through the world-class programme.
“Adam Gemili and Laviai Nielsen have elected to remain in Florida and accept they will not be supported through the WCP for the time being. UKA understands the significant commitment these athletes have made to be based in Florida for the winter and that they will remain part of the training group until a further update from US Safe Sport is provided.”
Reider has earned a glittering reputation in the sport after guiding several Olympic and world champions to glory, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic 200m gold medallist Andre De Grasse and the world triple jump champion Christian Taylor.
When the Guardian broke the story that he was about to be investigated last month, Reider’s lawyer, Ryan Stevens, said the allegations against his client were “unvetted” and “unproven”.
Gemili said he had decided to stay with Reider while the investigation continued.
“Having spoken with UKA, US Safe Sport and various athletes within the Tumbleweed group, I feel as though it is correct to trust that the proper organisations will conduct a thorough investigation and quickly outline their findings,” he said.
“UKA are understanding of my decision and although I will not be on the WCP programme whilst the investigation is ongoing, we shall continue to closely work together.”