OTTAWA – On March 5, 2018, Athletics Canada commissioned an investigation by a neutral third-party investigator prompted by a complaint received from a former adult athlete against their former coach, Desai Williams. The complainant alleged Mr. Williams violated the Athletics Canada Member Policy that prohibits sexual harassment. The alleged conduct took place in 2010.
The independent investigator concluded that the allegations of misconduct were serious and that it was prudent for Athletics Canada to promptly investigate the complaint.
The investigation was concluded and the investigator found that Desai Williams engaged in behaviour that violated Athletics Canada’s Member Conduct Policy by abusing the power imbalance inherent in his coaching position, rule 129.02 a) and b).
a) Happen between an individual against another individual, either at the same hierarchical level or between individuals with different hierarchical levels and/or different contractual status;
b) Take the form bullying, characterized by the underlying perception of an imbalance of power, and by the repeated or habitual use of force; physical and/or emotional aggression or coercion to intimidate or dominate others;
As a result, Athletics Canada sanctions Desai Williams to a lifetime ban from participation in any role or attendance at any competition or activity that is organized, convened, held or sanctioned by Athletics Canada or by a member of Athletics Canada, including any affiliated club or association.
Athletics Canada’s top priority is creating and maintaining a healthy, safe and secure sporting environment for its athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and employees. Harassment of any kind is incompatible with that environment and strictly prohibited.
Any participant in our sport that feels or sees harassment of any kind is encouraged to contact the Commissioner’s Office. Athletics Canada’s Board of Directors vests the Commissioner’s Office to be the autonomous authority in multiple areas of Athletics Canada’s operations, including complaints of violations of Athletics Canada’s Code of Conduct and Ethics.
Contact the Commissioner’s Office:
Phone: 613-260-5580, ext. 3350