Weir hits out at coach as retirement reason revealed
David Weir has said a British Athletics coach ‘belittled' him, and accused him of ‘throwing a race’ as the six-time paralympic gold medallist opened up on the reason behind his recent retirement.
The London 2012 star caused a stir last week when he took aim at British Athetics in the wake of his retirement from the sport. And stated his treatment by BA coach Jenni Banks was one of the deciding factors.
“There’s no way I can be in the set-up with that woman as coach,” he said. “There would be an atmosphere that wouldn’t be fair on the younger guys and girls. There’s no way back.”
Following disappointment at the Rio 2016 Olympics - where he failed to win a single medal - Weir claims an already fractured relationship with the Wheelchair coach reached breaking point in Brazil.
“I remember being on the warm-up track after the race thinking, ‘I don’t know what happened but that wasn’t me’,” he told press this morning.
“I made a late decision to change my racing gloves but couldn’t get any top speed in the race.
“And Jenni Banks comes round to me with all this abusive language, saying that I’d let down my country. She said if I didn’t want to do the relay I should have said.
“She thought I’d thrown the race for the team and said I was a disgrace to Great Britain. Everyone saw it, guys from other national teams saw it.
“I felt belittled. I was disgusted by the way she treated me that day, especially after what I’d done for GB for the whole of my career.”
Britsh Athletics have confirmed there was an altercation between the pair in a statement.
"We can confirm there was a frank exchange of views between an athlete and the relay coach following the race when the GB men's wheelchair team failed to qualify for the final."
It was also alleged that Banks had thrown his wheelchair in rage, with an investigation proving inconclusive and Weir himself admitting he himself hadn’t seen it.
"I don't really know about the chair because I didn't see it," he said. "It's only what I have heard from other people."
His comments, are the latest in a tirade against British Athletics following his retirement.
Today is the day I officially retire from GB I will never put a shirt on again.#thanksBritishAthletics what a joke.— David Weir CBE (@davidweir2012) January 17, 2017
Even the prospect of competing in front of a home crowd at the London 2017 World Championships was not enough to see Weir endure another season.
“I was really tempted because of my poor performance in Rio but I decided I just didn’t want to be — and couldn’t be — part of the set-up under her,”
Weir’s final few races will come off the track, as he looks for a record seventh London Marathon win.
“It’s all about no regrets,” Weir added. “I will always have what happened in London 2012 and no one can ever take that or the four golds away from me.
“To have a full stadium of 80,000 people shouting my name or similarly the people of London on the streets doing the same. I got to do the things that I’d always dreamt of doing and more.”