David Bedford retires from Athletics Canada


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David Bedford retired as chief executive of Athletics Canada on Wednesday, two days after the organization’s board of directors met to discuss a series of sexually suggestive tweets he posted over the past few months.

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When asked if people would link the retirement announcement to his tweets, which Bedford deleted following a conversation with board chair Helen Manning, Bedford said “that they can connect whatever they want. I’m not responsible for what other people think.”

When asked if he had been disciplined by the board in any way, he replied, “It’s up to them to comment. It does not depend on me. I have submitted my retirement and AC is issuing a press release to that effect.

The statement issued on Wednesday afternoon stated that “Following meetings held between Athletics Canada’s Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer David Bedford, it has been agreed that Mr. Bedford will step down from the organization with immediate effect.

“David joined the organization in April 2019 with the goal of leading Athletics Canada through a transition period of 18 to 24 months. Now, 34 months later and on the heels of Athletics Canada’s best Olympic Games since 1928, David will be retiring from the organization.

Mathieu Gentes, who has been chief operating officer since 2016 and of Athletics Canada since 2005, will assume the role of interim chief executive “until further notice,” according to the release.

Bedford, who said he wanted the tweets to be humorous, expressed regret.

“I mean, look, if you offend someone, then of course you’re sorry. So yes, let’s leave it at that. If I offended anyone, then I certainly regret that I did.

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Bedford, who previously held leadership positions with the Canadian Olympic Committee, the International Management Group and the Toronto Argonauts during a 40-year career in the sport, said he is semi-retired when he accepted the Athletics Canada position and told the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors last March that he would retire fully in 2022. He moved to Calgary last year.

“I’m going to ride my bike along the Bow River, play more golf, spend more time at my house in Naples, Florida, walk my dog ​​and play with my smoker Weber in the back yard with chest and ribs… I’m going to look forward to not waking up to an alarm clock and if I want to go to bed late to watch a sporting event, I don’t have to go to bed and miss it.

“And the last thing I would say is that I’m the luckiest person. I’ve just had an amazing career.

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