London | Corrie steps down while investigation is ongoing
In what could be a worrying repeat of the Daniel Sanders affair when the Head Coach of the Wrexham Tennis Centre was jailed for six years following his serial sexual abuse of youngsters, the LTA has moved swiftly to ensure there is no recurrence following subsequent new allegations raised at the Hertfordshire County LTA.
I would not wish my presence in this significant public role to become a distraction from the very good work the LTA is currently doing in the safeguarding arena.Martin Corrie
While no specific details are available it is understood that a coach allegedly sexually assaulted an individual in 2004. The County reacted by commissioning an investigation but that is now being questioned by the LTA in Roehampton following a new complaint which the national governing body received last December.
Martin Corrie, the LTA President, who was a member of the Hertfordshire executive committee which originally looked into the case, has consequently decided to step down while a second investigation is undertaken.
In a statement announcing his decision, the LTA said Corrie had “chosen to temporarily step aside from the duties of his role while the independent investigation is ongoing”. Meanwhile David Rawlinson, the LTA’s deputy president since January 2017, will be taking over the President’s duties.
The statement added: “As soon as we received the complaint, we undertook a comprehensive internal review of the original 2004 case. We have also now commissioned a further independent investigation which is being carried out as swiftly as possible. The outcome of that investigation will be made public when it concludes.”
In that statement, Corrie said: “This case concerns a coach who worked at Hertfordshire county LTA when I was a member of the executive committee and who was investigated and sanctioned by the LTA disciplinary committee at the time.
“As we are all aware, upholding the highest standards in dealing with safeguarding matters is important to the whole of British tennis. Therefore, in agreement with the board of the LTA, I believe it is right for me to step aside from my presidency during the course of this investigation.
“I would not wish my presence in this significant public role to become a distraction from the very good work the LTA is currently doing in the safeguarding arena.”
Scott Lloyd, the LTA chief executive since January, added: “I want to emphasise that nothing is more important to us at the LTA than the safety and security of the children and young people who play tennis in Britain. I am personally committed to creating an environment where effective, consistent and timely safeguarding decisions can be made. The implementation of a comprehensive new action plan is well under way which I believe will help put British tennis at the forefront of safeguarding in sport.”
Following the Wrexham affair, the LTA did admit that it had failed in that safeguarding area despite the many complaints received from parents, coaches and players. The various reports which were commissioned at the time were never made public. This time, the LTA have seemingly reacted promptly with the promise of making the results of the investigation public.