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Former U of G track coach accused of harassment, sexual harassment, Athletics Canada says

Former University of Guelph track and field coach Dave Scott-Thomas has been accused of harassment and sexual harassment in regards to athletes he coached more than a decade apart, according to a notice of suspension written by the independent Commissioner for Athletics Canada in January.

Dave Scott-Thomas has been suspended from Athletics Canada on interim basis

Former University of Guelph track and field coach Dave Scott-Thomas has been accused of harassment and sexual harassment in regards to athletes he coached more than a decade apart, according to a notice of suspension written by the independent Commissioner for Athletics Canada in January. (Submitted by the University of Guelph)

Former University of Guelph track and field coach Dave Scott-Thomas has been accused of harassment and sexual harassment in regards to athletes he coached more than a decade apart, according to a notice of suspension written by the independent Commissioner for Athletics Canada in January.

The first complaint stems from 2006 and involves an athlete under his supervision at the University of Guelph, the commissioner's statement said. The statement adds a second complaint was filed with the university by a current national team athlete in 2019.

As a result, Scott-Thomas has been suspended from Athletics Canada on an interim basis.

"I believe that the allegations against Mr. Scott-Thomas are of such a serious nature as to warrant suspension from Athletics Canada, its member branches, and clubs until such times as this complaint procedure is concluded, and the office of the commissioner has released a decision," wrote commissioner Frank Fowlie.

CBC has attempted to reach Scott-Thomas for comment but has not yet heard back.

'Lied' about 2006 complaint, U of G says

The University of Guelph had first been made aware of complaints against Scott-Thomas back in 2006, according to a January news release. At the time, a family member of a student athlete coached by Scott-Thomas came forward with a complaint against him.

An investigation was completed and Scott-Thomas was placed on leave for four weeks, the university said.

Further details about the 2006 complaint came to light after another athlete complained in 2019 and a second investigation was launched into Scott-Thomas, the university said.

"The university received new information related to the earlier investigation that made it clear that Scott-Thomas had lied repeatedly in 2006 about several significant matters," which led to his termination, the university said in the release.

The university went on to say that, had it known those details at the time, Scott-Thomas would have been fired back in 2006.

Athletics Canada investigation

Athletics Canada and Scott-Thomas have had a long-standing relationship of more than a decade. He served as a volunteer coach on a number of national teams beginning in 2005.

After the university announced in December 2019 it had parted ways with Scott-Thomas following an investigation, Athletics Canada announced that it was ending a "High Performance Centre of Excellence" agreement that had been in place between Athletics Canada, the University of Guelph and the Speed River Track and Field Club, where Scott-Thomas had been a principal coach.

Earlier this month, Athletics Canada announced that it had also uncovered relevant information "of a historical nature" spanning 2006 to 2013, and sent that information to the commissioner's office.

Fowlie said he will complete the complaint procedure and release a decision no later than Sept. 30, 2020.

Scott-Thomas has also been suspended by the Chartered Professional Coaching Designation by the Coaching Association of Canada, the commissioner said.

The Speed River Track and Field Club has ceased operations and its website is no longer active. 

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