UKAD confirm lifetime ban for former athletics coach Dr George Skafidas

Dr George Skafidas has been banned for life

Former athletics coach Dr George Skafidas has been banned for life from all sport following nine anti-doping violations, UK Anti-Doping has announced.

Skafidas was previously a UK Athletics licensed coach who ran a training group in Lincolnshire, and the offences relate to his conduct with British international sprinter Bernice Wilson.

Wilson, the top-ranked sprinter in the country over 60 metres in 2010, tested positive for testosterone and other prohibited substances in June 2011 and was suspended for four years.

While still banned in February 2015, she failed an out-of-competition test for clomiphene, a fertility drug.

Because of substantial assistance provided to UKAD and a prompt admission of guilt, Wilson's second suspension was reduced from 40 months to 10 months, and she has been eligible to compete since December.

As well as possession of, trafficking and administering banned substances to an athlete, Skafidas was found to have knowingly provided false information at Wilson's hearing in 2011 and, i n 2015, removed a letter addressed to Wilson in the course of anti-doping proceedings and provided a false account in an interview with representatives of UKAD.

UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said on "This case is not only incredibly disturbing but sad.

"Here is a coach who set up and ran a training group for young and talented athletes; athletes like Bernice who had a bright and promising future in the sport. He was put into a position of trust, he abused that trust and as a result categorically destroyed a career.

"Athlete Support Personnel have a huge responsibility to guide their athletes onto the right path of competing clean. Yet here is a coach who blatantly chose the wrong path and therefore it is absolutely right that Dr Skafidas receive a lifetime ban. He and others like him have absolutely no place in sport.

"I applaud the bravery of Bernice Wilson for coming forward to speak to us."

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