UK Athletics crisis deepens as Joanna Coates quits as chief executive

UK Athletics has been sent into further turmoil after the shock resignation of chief executive Joanna Coates, while performance Director Sara Symington has also departed.

The major shakeup comes after a disappointing Tokyo Olympics with financial challenges and a failure to push through reforms also playing a part.

Coates, the former chief of England Netball, only took the job in March 2020, but a series of unpopular decisions has seen her walk away.

Symington, who also worked with Coates at England Netball, is moving to British Cycling as head of Olympic and Paralympic programme.

A statement read: “UK Athletics can confirm that Joanna Coates and Sara Symington have given notice from their respective roles, Chief Executive Officer and Performance Director.

“Mark Munro will take over as Interim CEO for six months to provide strategic continuity and leadersip to the staff, athletes and coaches and will prioritise working with the board to start the recruitment process for both roles.”

While Chair of UK Athletics Ian Beattie added: “I’d like to thank Jo and Sara for their work during their time at UK Athletics and I wish them both all the best for the future.”

More to follow…

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