Athletics Canada probing background of former Guelph athletics coach

'Historical' information spanning the years 2006 to 2013 has come to light regarding an investigation into former University of Guelph track coach Dave Scott-Thomas, Athletics Canada says.

Scott-Thomas is currently the subject of an investigation by the independent commissioner's office of Athletics Canada. That investigation was launched after the University of Guelph announced in December that Scott-Thomas had been fired for "past unprofessional conduct."

The university has not disclosed to CBC what unprofessional conduct Scott-Thomas had been accused of.

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Athletics Canada CEO Dave Bedford said the historical information was discovered through a search of its archives. He told CBC he could not comment on the nature of the information while the investigation is underway.

"We really can't say what we found, only that it's been all turned over to the commissioner's office," said Bedford.

The independent commissioner's office was established by Athletics Canada in 2015 as an impartial body to handle complaints.

Between when the office was launched in 2015 and when Scott-Thomas was terminated by the university in 2019, Athletics Canada said it had not received any complaints registered against him, the University of Guelph or the Speed River Track and Field Club where Scott-Thomas served as head coach.

Athletics Canada said in December 2019 that it was completing a review of its records to determine whether any complaints were received prior to 2015.

Scott-Thomas had a long-standing relationship with Athletics Canada before the organization severed ties in December 2019.

Starting in 2018, the University of Guelph and the Speed River Track and Field Club were recognized together as an Athletics Canada "High Performance Centre of Excellence," where athletes tapped as future Olympians or Paralympians could go for training.

That status was terminated by Athletics Canada after the university announced it had ended its relationship with Scott-Thomas.

Scott-Thomas has also previously served as a volunteer coach for numerous Canadian national teams between 2005 and 2019, including teams that competed at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

The Speed River Track and Field Club announced in December that Scott-Thomas had not actively coached any club athletes since October.

At the time, the club said there were no plans for Scott-Thomas to resume his coaching duties.

In an email statement to CBC, the University of Guelph said it is aware of the investigation by the independent commissioner's office of Athletics Canada and will "provide any relevant information or assistance ... as appropriate."

CBC has reached out to Scott-Thomas but has not yet heard back.

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