The Athletics Canada Commissioner’s Office announced today that Andy McInnis and Dr. Ken Porter of the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club have received lifetime bans, effective immediately, from Athletics Canada, its member branches and member clubs.
Athletics Canada views ethical conduct as a cornerstone in the fair administration of the sport of athletics. Everyone participating in athletics as an athlete, coach, integrated support team, administrator, volunteer or staff member is entitled to participate in an environment that is free of harassment or discrimination.
The Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club are a registered not-for-profit organization in the Province of Ontario. They operate a track and field Club in the City of Ottawa. The Lions are a member club of Athletics Ontario, and by virtue of that membership are associates of Athletics Canada. Athletics Canada’s policies apply to the Lions as they are club associate members of Athletics Canada
Athletics Canada is an acknowledged Canadian sport system leader in developing an extensive Code of Conduct, and in having the first and only independent Commissioner’s function in a National Sport Organization in Canada. Programs like this work when two essentials are in place: educating athletes and coaches about their roles and responsibilities in a Safe Sport system, and having a robust response to misconduct when it is reported. The only way sport can eliminate misconduct is when athletes, parents, volunteers and clubs across the country feel it is safe to report misconduct, without fear of reprisal for doing so. We encourage anyone in our sport who has a Safe Sport concern to look at our Safe Sport webpage (www.athletics.ca/safesport).
Since publication of the interim suspensions, a number of men, now in their 50s and 60s came forward to the Commissioner and the Independent Investigator making allegations of sexual misconduct and assault. Athletics Canada reacted to these reports with the utmost speed and attention. Over the past month the Independent Investigator has conducted a number of interviews concerning historic sexual abuse of track athletes who were minors at the time of the assaults. We want to thank these men for their candid cooperation with us, and we acknowledge their bravery in coming forward.
We encourage any other person who has been the victim of sexual harassment or misconduct while participating in athletics to reach out to us.
“Athletics Canada thanks and applauds all athletes, past and present, who came forward in this investigation,” said Bill MacMackin, Athletics Canada President. “Their testimony and participation are commended, the only way the system can protect athletes is with individuals stepping up to report inappropriate behaviour.”
Athletics Canada will review and discuss all recommendations by Commissioner Fowlie at its Annual General Meeting on May 24 in Ottawa, putting forth an implementation plan where necessary.
Below is an outline of the timeline of this investigative process, followed by an excerpt of Decisions and Sanctions from the Office of the Athletics Canada Commissioner in this case. Please follow this link to view the full report, recommendations and decisions.