UK Athletics in chaos as incoming boss axed for letting husband coach young athletes after ‘inappropriate relationship’

UK ATHLETICS was plunged into its deepest crisis yet as its new chief executive was axed BEFORE taking up her job.

Zara Hyde Peters was due to begin work from Sunday, more than a year after predecessor Niels de Vos stepped down.

 Zara Hyde Peters has been ousted as UK Athletics' new chief after controversy surrounding her husband
Zara Hyde Peters has been ousted as UK Athletics’ new chief after controversy surrounding her husbandCredit: Rex Features
 Niels de Vos, left, has stepped down as UK Athletics chief
Niels de Vos, left, has stepped down as UK Athletics chiefCredit: Getty – Contributor

But the appointment became shrouded in controversy after it emerged her husband was allowed to coach at the Coventry Godiva club where she was vice-chair.

This was despite him having been banned from teaching for an “inappropriate relationship” with a 15-year-old girl.

And three days after UK Athletics chairman Chris Clark insisted the former distance runner would still take up her role, he announced she was out.

Clark said: “Following recent press reports and significant media attention focused on Zara Hyde Peters, the UKA Board convened a meeting and discussed the situation fully.

“Following the meeting I had time with Zara to review the situation and we have agreed together, that she will now not be taking up her position.”

It was another humiliation for a governing body inundated with bad publicity in recent months.

Performance director Neil Black was forced to quit last month over the Alberto Salazar scandal, which saw Mo Farah’s former coach banned for four years.

Black had been unapologetic over the organisation’s link with consultant Salazar and his Nike Oregon Project. Now, with less than eight months until the start of the Tokyo Olympics, the Games’ blue riband sport in this country is back in crisis mode.

UK Sport, in charge of Lottery funding to Olympic sports, has begun asking questions over the reputation of UK Athletics and British Cycling.

Chief executive Sally Munday said: “The integrity of sport is absolutely paramount to us.

“Without it, we have nothing.

“We have to make sure there is proper governance in any sport before we invest in it.”

 The Tokyo Olympics is just months away, with the start scheduled for July 24
The Tokyo Olympics is just months away, with the start scheduled for July 24Credit: Rex Features

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