IAAF World Championships: Adam Gemili says media coverage ‘took its toll’ after 200m dismount
Britain’s Adam Gemili says media coverage of his coach Rana Reider “took its toll” after he failed to qualify for the 200m semifinals at the World Cup.
Reider is under investigation for sexual misconduct and was warned by the police after allegedly gaining unauthorized access to the athletes’ warm-up area in Oregon on Sunday.
“This year I took a hit and it shows,” Gemili told BBC Sport.
“I just wasn’t good enough today.”
Gemili clocked 20.60 seconds in his run, missing out on automatic qualification.
“There was a lot of bad press surrounding my setup and me and it was relentless, every week it just took its toll,” said the 28-year-old.
“I’m old enough now that I should be able to separate it, but I’ve never been exposed to so much press.
“I’m way better than that [time]. mental, [it’s been] This year it’s very difficult for me to concentrate and not overexert myself. I just wasn’t good enough today and that’s a shame for me.”
The US Center for SafeSport is Investigating multiple complaints of sexual misconduct against Reider, who was not accredited to compete at Hayward Field, Eugene.
In November, British athletes were told to cut “all ties” with Reider pending investigations. His lawyer said at the time that no formal allegations had been made against Reider.
At the time, his attorney Ryan Stevens said it was “unfair to drag Rana’s reputation through the mud” before an investigation took place.
Gemili and Laviai Nielsen were subsequently removed from UK Athletics’ world-class program after opting to remain in Reider’s training squad.
Gemili, who will compete in the men’s relay later this week, called for more protections for athletes to help them deal with the media interest.
“I’m just a normal guy. I’m not a superstar – I want to run fast every day and enjoy the sport and make people happy,” he said.
“It’s great to come to a champion and have people cheering for my name. I love that feeling, but in terms of performance, it’s not good enough.
“You can see the effects on the track.”
Gemili later apologized for his performance and comments, writing on Twitter: “No apologies except that I wasn’t good enough. The fault is mine.
“I also shouldn’t have made any comments about the press when I was being interviewed. I understand they have a job to do, but it was just a lot to get done [with] and hope you can understand.”
A former UK Athletics employee, Reider trains athletes at the Tumbleweed Track Club in Jacksonville, Florida, having recently moved his training base from The Netherlands.
He has established himself as one of the top track and field coaches in the world, having overseen the success of several elite athletes including Olympic 200m champion Andre de Grasse and four-time world triple jump champion Christian Taylor.
He is also currently coaching Americans Marvin Bracy and Trayvon Bromell, who respectively won silver and bronze in the men’s 100m on Saturday.