Zara Hyde Peters will not take up chief executive role at UK Athletics

By Jamie Gardner, PA Chief Sports Reporter

Zara Hyde Peters will not take up a position as chief executive of UK Athletics following reports related to a safeguarding issue.

Hyde Peters had been due to start work as the governing body’s new boss on December 1 but UKA chairman Chris Clark says that will not happen now.

A report in the Times newspaper alleged that Hyde Peters’ husband, Mike Peters, was allowed to continue as a coach at Coventry Godiva Harriers despite being banned from teaching for an “inappropriate relationship” with a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Hyde Peters, whose appointment by UKA was announced in August, had been vice-chair of Coventry Godiva Harriers at the time.

A brief statement from UKA chair Clark read: “Following recent press reports and significant media attention focused on Zara Hyde Peters the UKA Board convened a meeting this past Sunday 24th November 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 as CEO on 1st December.”

The Times has claimed that, although Hyde Peters knew her husband had been permanently barred from teaching in October 2012, he was allowed to carry on in his role as coach at Coventry Godiva Harriers between 2012 and 2017.

Peters was banned from teaching PE after being found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct following an “inappropriate relationship” at Bilton School in Rugby between 2004 and 2005. He was cleared of sexual misconduct.

Funding body UK Sport released a statement which read: “We acknowledge the announcement from UK Athletics today regarding Zara Hyde Peters.

Neil Black stood down as performance director at the end of October (Adam Davy/PA)
Neil Black stood down as performance director at the end of October (Adam Davy/PA)

“Maintaining the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct is crucial to the integrity of sport.

“We will be seeking a face-to-face meeting with UK Athletics at the earliest opportunity to discuss next steps.”

Hyde Peters has also resigned from her role on the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games board and has stepped down as the chair of the 2022 athletes’ advisory committee.

John Crabtree, chair of the board, Birmingham Organising Committee of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, said: “Following discussions over the last 48 hours, Zara Hyde Peters has informed us of her intention to resign from her role on the Birmingham 2022 board, to which she was appointed by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in September 2018.

“She has also resigned as chair of the Birmingham 2022 Athletes’ Advisory Committee. I would like to thank Zara for her contribution over the last year.”

The news regarding Hyde Peters comes soon after the decision by performance director Neil Black to stand down at the end of October.

Alberto Salazar was banned over doping violations (PA Wire)
Alberto Salazar was banned over doping violations (PA Wire)

Black reviewed his position after the US Anti-Doping Agency handed a four-year ban to Sir Mo Farah’s former coach Alberto Salazar over doping violations.

USADA’s investigation into Salazar began in 2015 and at that point UKA reviewed Farah’s links with the American coach and allowed the relationship to continue.

Farah, who trained under Salazar at the Nike Oregon Project from 2011 to 2017, said after Salazar’s ban was announced that he had “no tolerance for anyone who breaks the rules or crosses a line”.

There has never been any accusation of wrongdoing made against the four-time Olympic champion.

What to read next