Sprinters Gemili and Neita on collision course with UK Athletics over Reider

Two of Britain’s leading sprinters, Adam Gemili and Daryll Neita, are locked in a standoff with UK Athletics after so far staying loyal to their American coach, Rana Reider, who is facing a SafeSport US investigation.

The Guardian revealed last week that Gemili and Neita had been ordered by UKA to “cease all association” with Reider after “multiple complaints of sexual misconduct” were made against him.

Both sprinters have also now been sent two letters by UKA, reminding them they will lose their place on the World Class Programme and all lottery funding if they do not leave Reider, but they are continuing to dig in.

UKA’s acting chief executive, Mark Munro, confirmed that discussions with the athletes were continuing but said: “I can’t give you an answer in terms of what they plan to do.

“We’ve reported on the information we have from US SafeSport and I believe another few international federations have also reported something similar in terms of their approach,” he said. “We’re in constant communication with the athletes trying to find solutions based on whatever decisions they make, but those conversations are ongoing.

“But whether it’s the Rana situation, or any other coach, we need to make sure that we are protecting our athletes first and foremost,” he added. “They’re the No 1 priority for us. So we need to make sure that the environment is as safe as it needs to be. We’ll be in a better position in the next couple of weeks to know what they plan to do.”

Reider has earned a storied reputation in track and field after guiding several Olympic and world champions to glory, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic 200m gold medallist, Andre De Grasse, 100m star Trayvon Bromell and the world triple jump champion, Christian Taylor. However, in recent days Athletics Canada has confirmed that it is suspending any payments to Reider for his work with De Grasse “pending the outcome of said investigation”.

Last week Reider denied knowledge of the SafeSport investigation and said he had not been told of UK Athletics’ instruction to Gemili and Neita. “You can call my lawyer because this is news to me,” he said.

Reider’s lawyer, Ryan Stevens, said the allegations against his client were “unvetted” and “unproven”.

Meanwhile, the new UKA chairman, Ian Beattie, has said that one of his priorities is to get more domestic events back on the BBC after its deal with the corporation ended last year. “We’ve all probably grown up watching athletics on the BBC,” he said. “It’s a shop window for the sport and we are very keen to find a way forward.”