Former Olympic hurdler arrested amid report he molested 31 athletes as a track coach

Former Olympic track athlete Conrad Mainwaring was arrested on one felony count of sexual battery on Wednesday amidst an ESPN investigation that reported more than 30 men were molested by the 67-year-old Los Angeles-based high school track and field coach.

The ESPN Outside The Lines report claims the abuse spanned over the course of 44 years, with the youngest alleged victim claiming abuse at age 14.

Los Angeles Police Department detective Sharlene Johnson said the alleged victim claimed Mainwaring molested him in 2016 by masquerading it as massage treatment in which he’d also touch his genitals. The LAPD only filed one charge against Mainwaring, and Johnson said that could be a result of the statute of limitations expiring on alleged victims from the ESPN report.

The 67-year-old Mainwaring competed for Antigua during the 1976 Olympics in the 100-meter hurdles and would use his status as an established track coach to coerce athletes. One alleged victim told ESPN that Mainwaring’s manipulation for treatment began with incentives like, “you can be an Olympian, too.” Victims in the ESPN story also claimed Mainwaring would convince them that control over their erections would affect their testosterone levels and improve their athletic performance.

Johnson, the LAPD detective, said Mainwaring was “using his position as a coach with athletes who are so focused and driven to be perfect at their craft that he was able to victimize them without them even realizing it.”

The alleged abuse allegedly occurred at American universities and summer camps, although Mainwaring was never an official employee in any of the allegations. Mainwaring was reported to law enforcement agencies and employers in both England and the United States, however, there is no record he was ever charged with a crime until now.

Mainwaring declined to answer questions about the men’s allegations in the ESPN story. Attempts by USA TODAY Sports to reach an attorney for Mainwaring were unsuccessful.

Mainwaring, who established himself as an independent coach in the west side of Los Angeles, coached hurdler Felix Sanchez, who won Olympic gold in 2004 and 2012, but Sanchez was not one of the men who accused him of abuse.
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