April 22, 2024

Dennis Lewis steps down as UK Athletics boss to 'protect' role as BBC pundit

Dame Denise Lewis was appointed as the new head of UK Athletics last December, but has now decided to “temporarily step away” from the role amid concerns about her critical work at the BBC.

Dennis Lewis has 'temporarily' resigned from his role as UK Athletics boss(Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Dame Denise Lewis has announced that she has “temporarily” resigned from her role as head of UK Athletics (UKA) just two months after her appointment.

The Olympic gold medalist made the decision after questions about combining her role with her work as a BBC pundit. Lewis was elected president in December, replacing former Olympic runner Jason Gardner.

However, she continued to work as a critic for the BBC, leading to questions as to how Lewis could combine the two roles given that her critical work would include her criticism of UK athletes and coaches. Following the controversy, Lewis decided to “temporarily step away” ahead of this weekend's World Indoor Championships in Glasgow.

“I've had to make the difficult decision to temporarily step down from my role as President of the United Kingdom – with the Olympics right around the corner and a hectic summer ahead. I just want to embrace this role,” she wrote in a post on her Instagram Story. “When you can have my full attention.”

Lewis is set to be on cash duty for the BBC this weekend and times She stated that her work with the broadcaster “was subject to scrutiny due to concerns that its integrity was being compromised.”

The report adds that there have been “intensive discussions” between BBC, UK and Lewis representatives, with one insider quoted as describing the situation as “chaos”. Neither the BBC nor the United Kingdom commented on her statement.

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When Lewis was elected in December, it came after UKA reported annual losses of £3.7m and chairman Ian Beattie was forced to address fears of insolvency. “If we think we are in danger of bankruptcy, we as managers will have problems, and we don't think so,” Beatty said.

Lewis was appointed President of the United Kingdom only in December((Reuters)

“We can make our way through this. We will make our way with a completely different organisation. I have confidence. I think the next few years will be another tough one, the environment is tough and no one is giving us money. Easy.”

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