UKA announces that the former coach of Bernice Wilson has been charged with committing anti-doping rule violations

Former UK Athletics-licensed coach George Skafidas has been provisionally suspended from participating in the sport, the national governing body announced on Monday (November 23).

The Greek, who coached former GB sprinter Bernice Wilson when she was banned for a drugs offence, has been charged by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) with having committed anti-doping rule violations.

“The provisional suspension issued by UK Anti-Doping and in accordance with IAAF Anti-Doping Rules, came in to effect today,” read a statement released by UK Athletics (UKA) on Monday.

“The individual now has the opportunity to respond to the charges against him including the right to a full hearing of the case.”

UKAD confirmed the provisional suspension via the organisation’s official Twitter account, adding: “UKAD will not disclose any further details until due process, including any appeals, has been completed.”

Skafidas had held a UKA coach licence but on August 28, 2013, the federation confirmed that a case management group had decided to ban the Greek coach from holding any form of UKA license for five years.

UKA will not disclose the exact reason for that ban, only that one of the circumstances for withdrawal of a licence set out in condition 6.1 of the Coach Licence Terms and Conditions (found here) existed.

In 2011 Wilson was suspended for four years following her positive test for testosterone and clenbuterol. She appealed the decision, but it was upheld.

As AW reported at the time, when Wilson was asked at a UKAD hearing to state any substances that might have led to the adverse finding, she mentioned a “multi-vitamin” drink provided by Skafidas, which she understood he obtained from a supplier in Germany. As she was being represented by Skafidas at the hearing, the investigating panel pointed out the potential for a conflict of interest, but after an adjournment, the pair returned to clarify it was no part of her defence or mitigation to suggest the drink as a possible source of the illegal substances.