UK Athletics plunged into fresh crisis as chairman Chris Clark resigns

UK Athletics has made further changes to its leadership by recruiting ex-netball chief Joanna Adams as CEO while Chris Clark will step down as chair. Chris Clark, resigned after barely seven months in charge on the day the troubled organisation also announced its new chief executive.

Joanna Adams, the highly regarded CEO of England Netball from 2015 to 2019, has been given the substantial task of rebuilding the battered reputation of UK Athletics.

Adams will become the organisation’s first full-time chief executive since Niels de Vos left in 2018. The post was originally due to be filled by Zara Hyde Peters in December but she stepped down before starting after questions were raised over whether she allowed her husband to coach at a local athletics club after he had an “inappropriate relationship” with a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

After leaving England Netball last August she became the first chief commercial officer at the London Legacy Development Corporation, the organisation responsible for the regeneration of east London and delivering legacy after the London 2012 Olympics.

Clark, who will now become an advisor to the UKA board, said: “With Joanna’s appointment and her track record of success in not only sports governance but also commercial, marketing and competition structures, it means we have excellent leadership to take the sport on in a positive future direction.”

Clark added: “Nic has already made a very positive impact and retaining his expertise for this transition period was an important consideration when the board debated the changes we needed to make. The focus now has to be the future and how we will apply the learnings and best practice from the ongoing reviews and ensure the sport has a hugely successful future.”

UK Athletics (UKA) has faced criticism over the handling of its relationship with banned coach Alberto Salazar and the disbanded Nike Oregon Project (NOP).

It has already launched its own review into the issues regarding NOP, prior to UK Sport’s announcement this week that it would also hold an independent investigation and “support the recruitment” of a new CEO.

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