Christian Malcolm has been sacked as head coach of UK Athletics amid further turmoil at the under-fire governing body.
The former sprinter will remain in his post through the congested summer of three major championships, but will then leave following a difficult tenure. Sportsmail understands Stephen Maguire, who was controversially overlooked in favour of Malcolm in September 2020, is favourite to step in to a new technical director role.
He will carry on in the position until the European Championships in Munich in August but after this a new structure is being introduced with the appointment of a new technical director to head up the World Class Performance Programme together with more coaching support for event-specific groups, greater financial investment into personal coaches of Lottery-funded athletes and a focus on a new ‘athlete performance and technical innovation centre’.
“Unfortunately given all the changes we need to make and the greater prioritisation for investment into personal coaches, the Olympic head coach role does not sit within the revised structures,” said UKA interim chief executive Mark Munro. “However, we have made a commitment to work with Christian over the summer with the potential for exploring other roles within the structure to enable us to maintain his involvement with UKA.”
Malcolm, who began the job in the autumn of 2020, said: “I am very disappointed to hear about the news but understand the rationale around this decision. My priority now is to continue working in the same way, maintaining professionalism and doing my job throughout the summer. I am fully focused on supporting our athletes and coaches, during this extremely busy summer for our sport.
“We have some incredibly talented athletes – some of whom have ambitious aims to compete across three major championships this summer. I’m looking forward to seeing them compete and supporting those individuals towards the World and European Championships, as well as representing their home nations during the Commonwealth Games.”
The former sprinter, who competed for Great Britain & Northern Ireland at four Olympic Games and won world, European and Commonwealth medals, was previously head of performance and coaching at Athletics Australia before moving back to Britain to work for UKA.
Munro added: “We are extremely grateful and appreciative to Christian for his time and efforts as well as his commitment and professionalism during his time as head coach.
“Taking on board a role during a pandemic and the associated challenges that brings – alongside staffing and structure changes – has been incredibly challenging. He has worked hard to steady the ship and continued to be professional throughout.”
UKA say the appointment of a new technical director is imminent and the successful candidate will start the role in September.