According to media reports, Canadian sprinter coach Andre de Grasse is under investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct.
Florida-based Olympic 200m gold medalist Rana Ryder has trained for the past two seasons, including at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, where de Grasse won silver and bronze.
The Canadian athletics company said in a statement that it learned of the reports against the sprint coach through an article in the Guardian newspaper on Wednesday.
We immediately referred the matter to our Office of the Independent Commissioner of Investigation. The sports organization said the commissioner’s office had contacted US SafeSport, adding that it was awaiting further instructions from the commissioner.
In a statement regarding Ryder, British athletics company British Athletics said a “US investigation is imminent”.
The sport’s governing body said it had “informed the British athletes they are currently training to suspend all federations until this process is complete.”
The coach is credited with helping de Grasse
De Grasse’s management agency, Envision Sports & Entertainment, told CBC Sports they had no comment on the reports.
The track and field coach is credited with helping De Grasse make the necessary changes that will lead to the athlete’s continued success on the track.
Ryder also coached the women’s 100m hurdles world champion Nia Ali, De Grasse’s partner. His Tumbleweed Track club in Jacksonville, Florida is also a training base for Adam Gimley of Great Britain and Trevon Brommel of the United States.
Ryder’s previous coaching experience includes Dutch athletes Daphne Schippers and American Christian Taylor.
CBC Sports has also reached out to the American Center for Safe Sports, which oversees sports abuse investigations, to confirm whether it has opened an investigation into Ryder.
In a statement to The Globe and Mail, SafeSport said it “does not comment on matters to protect the integrity of the investigation process.”
Lawyer says it’s “too early” to validate complaints
Meanwhile, CNN reported that Ryder’s attorney, Ryan Stevens, confirmed that SafeSport had hired an investigator “to conduct interviews and other work” on the complaints.
In a statement to CBC News, Stevens confirmed that Ryder has not received any notification of the allegations or evidence from the agency.
“This process has just begun in this Rana matter. It is clearly unfair that his hard-earned reputation should be dragged into the mud before legal proceedings or investigations begin.”
“It is premature at this time to assume that the fact that the complaint was made – especially if there were ulterior motives – has any validity. A full and fair investigation should be completed, but it has not been. by SafeSport and not by British Athletics.”
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