Former athletics coach Skafidas given lifetime ban

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UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has issued a lifetime ban from all sports to George Skafidas after the former athletics coach admitted nine anti-doping violations.

Skafidas' charges related to British sprinter Bernice Wilson, who was banned for four years after failing a drugs test in 2011.

A statement released by UKAD on Wednesday read: "In May and June 2011 Dr Skafidas administered testosterone and other Prohibited Substances to Bernice Wilson, which resulted in the athlete testing positive following an in-competition test at the Bedford International Games on 12 June 2011.

"At a hearing before a National Anti-Doping Panel on 12 and 13 September 2011, Dr Skafidas represented Ms Wilson and knowingly provided false information to the Panel. Following that hearing Ms Wilson was banned from all sport for four years.

"In January and February 2015, before Ms Wilson's return to sport, Dr Skafidas again administered Prohibited Substances to her. Despite not being eligible to compete, Ms Wilson was still subject to Anti-Doping Regulations and following an out-of-competition test on 12 February 2015 Ms Wilson tested positive for clomiphene.

"Dr Skafidas then proceeded to subvert the doping control process by removing and concealing a Notice of Charge sent to Ms Wilson by UKAD and knowingly provided a false account to UKAD during his interview in Greece on 10 June 2015."

UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said: "This case is not only incredibly disturbing but sad. Here is a coach who set-up and ran a training group for young and talented athletes; athletes like Bernice who had a bright and promising future in the sport. He was put into a position of trust, he abused that trust and as a result categorically destroyed a career.

"Dr Skafidas had a personal relationship with the athlete and she was clearly under his influence. Yet despite this relationship and instead of protecting and nurturing her career, he took calculated and deceptive steps that not only destroyed it but that also put her life in danger."