Six-time Olympic medalist and Canadian sprint standout Andre De Grasse has announced he will begin working once again with former coach Rana Reider. The move comes just nine months out from the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
De Grasse and Reider previously worked together for four years, from 2018 until 2022.
Reider, an American coach based in Jacksonville, Florida, guided De Grasse to his Olympic title and two other medals in 2021. He also coaches a number of other elite sprinters and jumpers, including reigning Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs of Italy and American Trayvon Bromell.
53-year-old Reider, however, has made headlines in the last year after he admitted to having a relationship with an 18-year-old British athlete, believed to have begun in 2014 when Reider was 44.
Concerns had been raised about the inappropriate relationship throughout the years, but it wasn’t until May 10, 2023, that U.S. SafeSport served Reider with a one-year probation.
The 18-month investigation that led to his probation found he was not in violation of any other alleged sexual misconduct claims but that his relationship with an 18-year-old female athlete presented a power imbalance.
Reider also came under scrutiny in 2022 as a result of his association with Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbarre.
Okagbarre received an 11-year ban after “multiple breaches of anti-doping rules,” including a positive test at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and “evading sample collection, and tampering or attempted tampering with the doping control process.”
Following Okagbarre’s doping and throughout investigations into Reider and his relationship, De Grasse, along with many other athletes, found new coaches ahead of the 2023 season.
De Grasse revealed that his decision to leave his current coach, John Coghlan of Ireland, was driven by his family environment. He and his wife, American hurdler Nia Ali, wanted a better environment for their children, with better schools and activities in Jacksonville than in Orlando.
De Grasse had only been working with Coughlan for less than one year before rekindling his collaboration with Reider.
His now former coach, Coghlan, said he and De Grasse had no hard feelings. Coughlan said it’s not uncommon for athletes to go back to familiarity and previous coaches they had past success with.
Athletics Canada responded to De Grasse’s coaching change after being made aware of his return to Reider. Athletics Canada spoke of the importance of safe sports training and background checks for all coaches involved in their association’s events and training camps.