Track coach Ken Porter fired following sex abuse investigations

The Ottawa Lions Club has fired Ken Porter in the wake of investigations into sex abuse allegations from at least nine former teen athletes, including several from B.C.

Longtime coach Ken Porter was fired this morning from the Ottawa track and field club he helped form 30 years ago in the wake of sex abuse allegations from at least nine former teen athletes, including several from B.C.

The Ottawa Lions Club announced this morning that it was permanently cutting ties with Porter, after suspending him a month ago. 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 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 a coach from the Lions Club, Andy McInnis. Today’s statement does not address McInnis, who remains suspended.

1990 file photo of coach Ken Porter. Canadian Press

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.


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Twitter: @loriculbert




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