The Ottawa Lions track and field club is apologizing to the athletes who came forward with complaints of sexual harassment against a coach.

This comes just days after Athletics Canada issued lifetime bans to coach Andy McInnis and ex-club president Ken Porter.

The pair had been suspended in March following the allegations of sexual harassment, which prompted the Athletics Canada investigation.

In a statement, the Ottawa Lions board of directors says it, “unreservedly apologizes to the individuals who submitted sexual harassment complaints against Andy McInnis in September 2018.”

The Lions say the club should have informed complainants immediately that McInnis was on administrative leave and was ordered to have no contact with club members. The board says it also regrets the “extreme length of time it took to the conduct the investigation” and says it failed to provide complainants with regular updates.

“Our intention was never to mishandle or diminish the seriousness of the complaints,” the statement says, “but we recognize that the manner in which we conducted the investigation and communicated with the Complainants created this impression and eroded your trust in the probity of the Club’s investigatory process and the intentions of the Board. For this we unreservedly apologize.”

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

With files from The Canadian Press.