BY MIKE ROWBOTTOM
Double Olympic champion Angelo Taylor has been provisionally suspended by USA Track & Field (USATF) in an emergency action hours after it was revealed he was coaching at a suburban Atlanta youth track club despite having been arrested in 2005 for child molestation.
The Orange County Register reported that Taylor has been coaching at the East Atlanta Track Club this spring and was also on USATF’s Georgia association’s Board of Directors despite being in violation of the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s code regarding sexual misconduct.
Taylor, winner of the men’s 400 metres hurdles at the Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008 Olympics, was arrested twice in 2005 for child molestation in two separate incidents involving 15-year-old girls.
He later pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was granted probation.
In a statement, USATF said: “Accordingly, this individual is prohibited from participating, in any capacity, in any activity or competition authorised by, organised by, sanctioned by, or under the auspices of USATF or the USOC, and/or any Local Affiliated Organizations of USATF (including any USATF associations and clubs).
“This individual has been placed on USATF’s list of suspended individuals.
“This action affirms USATF’s paramount goal of protecting its members and participants from victimization by sexual predators and other misconduct.
“It is our duty, along with the USOC, to work together to form a culture of respect in sport.”
The USATF decision comes nearly three weeks after USATF and U.S. Center for SafeSport officials received a complaint on April 26 about Taylor coaching in violation of the Center’s code.
The 40-year-old Taylor remained listed on both USATF’s SafeSport Compliance List and national coaches registry.
The U.S. Center for SafeSport’s code has superseded those of national governing bodies like USATF since the United States Olympic Committee created and financed the centre which opened in March 2017 in the wake of coaching abuse scandals in gymnastics and swimming.
To be included on the USATF SafeSport Compliance list individuals must be current USATF members, have passed what the organisation describes as “an extensive USATF background screen pertinent to their role within USATF,” and must have completed a U.S. Center for SafeSport training course.
The Register report added that Taylor coached with Elite Speed Summer Track Club in Decatur from March 2016 to August 2018, according to his LinkedIn page, which also asserts: “This coach has passed an identification, basic background and sex offender check.”
Taylor, who is entitled to request a hearing with the USATF board, has not responded to requests for a comment.
Taylor’s violation was officially noted by the Center for SafeSport on May 16, 2019 and he was declared “ineligible”.