Joanna Coates addressed the dispute between UK Anti-Doping and UKA, following the latter’s refusal to submit the internal report which would contain sensitive medical data.
“There are definite plans to hand them over,” insisted Coates, who said the UKA was not trying to delay the process but only followed “certain processes and elements of confidentiality” that must be respected before that the information is not disclosed.
“We are an organization that has been widely criticized for not following the process and on this occasion, we absolutely follow the process and we are always criticized. “
Coates also said there was a need to strengthen leadership at the UKA following revelations in a review by sports lawyer John Mehrzad of the organization’s relations with Salazart as former performance director Neil Black and endurance chief Barry Fudge were both threatening to leave if the board cut ties with the American coach. Black left the UKA in October, largely due to his support for Salazar and his failure to reach medals at the World Track and Field Championships. Fudge remains in his role.
“Performance can’t dictate a business, that’s what I feel,” said Coates. “Important decisions need to be made at the management level and people need to understand what’s going on in their business. We’ll take a look at the whole organization and see if the people are good at driving this business forward. I don’t want to name specific people because I don’t think it’s fair to do so. “
Coates said that while she had concerns, she hoped that none of Salazar’s methods had been adopted by other coaches or athletes governed by UKA. “We have been reviewed and audited and reviewed again in so many different areas of the business that I really hope there are no skeletons in the closet,” she said.
“We have the opportunity to write a strategy for the organization based on very clear behavior that I want to see exposed. If there are people in the organization who do not think the plan is good and who do not exhibit these behaviors, then we will delete them. “