CTV Exclusive: Athletics Canada investigating Ottawa Lions track and field club president Ken Porter
Ottawa Lions track and field club president Ken Porter (Courtesy: Ottawa Lions Club)
Athletics Canada has confirmed an investigation into Ottawa Lions track and field club chair Ken Porter.
Porter was suspended earlier this week in a separate sexual harassment investigation involving coach Andy McInnis. Porter was suspended for failing to take remedial action against McInnis.
In a statement to CTV News, Athletics Canada say complaints of inappropriate sexual relations against Porter were brought to their attention on social media.
One of those complaints came from former track and field athlete Brian Rhodes.
In an exclusive interview with CTV News Ottawa, Rhodes says he was 15-years-old when he landed a spot at cross-country provincials in Alberta
"That's when I met Ken Porter, and he said, 'I'll get you into nationals'," said Rhodes.
"He was a guy that everyone respected as far as I can see, he was getting things done and he certainly latched on to me."
Rhodes says he went on to compete as a middle-distance runner in Edmonton in 1970.
"I was naive to this," said Rhodes.
"I didn't know how long a coach was supposed to leave his hands on my body."
Rhodes, now 64-years-old, says Porter suggested they compete with the Edmonton Olympic Club later that year in Saskatoon.
"Ken had all the keys and he was doling them out on which athletes could go in which rooms and he said 'you're with me,'" said Rhodes.
Rhodes says there was only one double bed located inside the room.
"Ken decides I need to relax, so I'm going to get a massage," said Rhodes.
"He was giving me an erection and that continues with part of his rubbing which led to ejaculation."
Rhodes says he didn't tell anyone what happened that night.
"My ignorance on so many levels, what happened physically to me, the power trip that a coach has over an athlete," said Rhodes.
"If you got on the wrong side of some people, you never got anywhere."
CTV News has spoken to a second person. who tells CTV he was 15-years-old when he had several consensual sexual encounters with Porter in Alberta.
Athletics Canada confirming to CTV News they are investigating at least two complaints made on social media by former male athletes. Athletics Canada says they recommended both men may want to contact police, they declined.
"These allegations are not consistent with the Ken Porter I know," said Ottawa Lion's Club sitting President Ryan Rowat said in an e-mail to CTV News.
"He is a trusted friend and colleague."
In a statement to CTV News, Ottawa Lions Club says they have suspended Mr. Porter's affiliation with the club pending the investigation's outcome and they will defer to Athletics Canada and will assist as necessary as the allegations occurred prior to the formation of their club.
A lawyer representing Porter said in a statement to CTV News, "Mr. Porter unequivocally denies the allegations. Ken has volunteered his time and efforts in track and field in many capacities for over 50 years and always conducted himself in an ethical and professional matter."
Athletics Canada says their investigation is ongoing and a decision is expected for June. The independent investigator appointed former Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin.
None of these allegations have been tested in court.