Longtime coach Ken Porter was fired this morning from his volunteer position of president of the Ottawa track and field club in the wake of sex abuse allegations from at least nine former teen athletes, including several from B.C.The Ottawa Lions Club, which suspended Porter last month, announced this morning that it has permanently cut ties with Porter, who helped form the club 30 years ago and has been a high-profile Canadian coach for five decades. Postmedia has published a series of stories detailing alleged abuse of male teen track stars with the Edmonton Olympic Club in the 1970s, as well as in Ottawa.“Subsequent to recent media reports over the last two weeks, the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club has received complaints from its membership of sexual harassment allegations against Ken Porter,” says the unsigned statement released Monday morning by the club.“Ken Porter is in violation of the Club’s Statement of Expectations as well as the Athletics Canada and Athletics Ontario Code of Conduct and Ethics Policies … Porter’s affiliation with the Club has been permanently severed as result of the aforementioned violation of the Club’s By-laws and Statement of Expectations, this will include expulsion of Dr. Porter from having any future affiliation with the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club.”Postmedia has not been able to reach Porter Monday.The club is encouraging any more members with concerns to come forward.The club said part of its decision was based on a more than 200-page report prepared by independent investigator André Marin, who was hired by Athletics Canada to look into Porter and Lions Club head coach, Andy McInnis. Today’s statement does not address McInnis, who remains suspended.Marin’s report for Athletics Canada, the national governing body for track and field, will include recommendations for Porter’s future in the sport, which can range from reprimands to expulsion.
1990 file photo of coach Ken Porter.
At least two police departments, Edmonton and Saskatoon, are also reviewing Marin’s report but no formal announcement has yet been made on a criminal investigation.No criminal charges have ever been laid, despite a complaint investigated by Saskatoon police in 2007, and none of the accusations has been tested or proven in court.Through his lawyer, Porter has maintained his innocence.“Mr. Porter categorically denies the allegations made against him. He has been a well-respected volunteer in track and field for over 50 years and has always conducted himself in a professional manner,” lawyer Fady Mansour said in a previous email.Marin has gathered evidence from nine complainants, and their allegations span from 1971 to present day.Two of the allegations were from people coached in Ottawa in recent years.The seven other complainants were members of the Edmonton club who allege abuse when they were 15 or 16 years old and their coach was in his late 20s or early 30s.Postmedia has interviewed five of these men, whose allegations range from inappropriate massages to being shown pornography to non-consensual oral sex in a Saskatoon hotel room to sex in an Edmonton apartment.MORE TO COME.email@example.comTwitter: @loriculbert