Ultra-Runner Tomasz Drybala Accused Of Orchestrating Massive Unicef Charity Scam

The self-proclaimed motivational speaker would allegedly leave employees unpaid while travelling to luxurious destinations

Published:

Tomasz Drybala, a self-proclaimed ultra-runner and motivational speaker, has been accused of orchestrating a massive charity scam, leaving numerous individuals out of pocket and tarnishing his credibility. 

Drybala, a Polish ultra-runner residing in London, allegedly misled individuals in the UK and the US by hiring them to help raise £785,000 ($1 million) for Unicef. 

The accusations against Drybala include hiring staff for a fictitious Unicef charity run, using forged testimonials, and failing to pay employees, all while enjoying extravagant trips abroad.

Ultra-Runner Tomasz Drybala Accused Of Orchestrating Massive Unicef Charity Scam 1
Photo Credits: New York Post

The ultra-runner, who describes himself as a self-leadership coach, is also reportedly running the equivalent of the circumference of the earth, saying he will cover nearly 25,000 miles by 2025 to raise money for charity.

To date, he has only completed runs in five of the 30 countries he plans to visit.

As Unicef launches an investigation into his activities, the extent of the alleged deception has begun to unfold.

Victims claim he employed them without payment, utilized fake promotional materials, and forged testimonials in order to gain access to high-profile opportunities, including collaborations and partnerships with renowned brands. 

Despite the appearance of a legitimate fundraising campaign, there is no record of him actually raising any money for charity.

Former employees who fell victim to Drybala’s alleged scam share their tales of financial distress. 

Abby, who signed an employment contract with promises of a £44,000 yearly salary, claims she never received any payment, all while accumulating debts of £13,000 during her five-month tenure. 

Other victims, like Josh Collins, a video editor from California, assert he has repeatedly asked Drybala for his salary and is still left unpaid.

Drybala’s alleged deception extends beyond unpaid wages, as he is accused of faking testimonials on his website. 

One UK running coach, Steve, revealed to the Daily Mail that his photo was used with a fabricated testimonial about an online course he never took. 

I see that my photo is still on his website with a glowing testimonial about his online course. I didn’t write the testimonial as I’ve never done his course,” he told the Daily Mail.

Drybala contacted Steve as recently as October as he wanted running coaches to help promote his online course.

He said he would pay me £250 a week to do 10 hours of work for him. All I needed to do was pay for and sign up for the course myself first (£295 or something like that). I declined because I said I’ve never taken on a role where training is not provided by the employer,” he told the Daily Mail.

Additionally, Drybala claimed partnerships with National Geographic and Red Bull, with no evidence to support these assertions.

The accused ultra-runner’s carefully curated social media presence is also under scrutiny, with claims of manipulated videos and staged promotional content. Videos allegedly edited by unpaid employees were used on his website and social media without compensation. 

In a number of his Instagram videos, you can see Drybala delivering a speech. However, you never see or hear a crowd, further raising questions about his credibility.

Critics argue that the lack of verifiable details in his speaking engagements and events that he boasts on social media raises suspicions about their authenticity.

Drybala currently has nearly 5,000 Instagram followers. However, he has removed the ability for others to comment on his posts.

Unicef has initiated an investigation into Drybala’s alleged fraudulent activities. In response to the accusations, Drybala dismissed them as being ‘taken out of context‘ and ‘interpretations of facts.’ 

He attributes his financial challenges to lost sponsors and partnerships, claiming to have learned from the experience, and now reportedly only works with ‘carefully selected professionals.’

As the investigation is ongoing, the consequences of these accusations on Drybala’s reputation and the outcome for affected individuals remain uncertain. Drybala has yet to comment on the allegations concerning the fundraising and missing wages.

Photo of author
Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

6 thoughts on “Ultra-Runner Tomasz Drybala Accused Of Orchestrating Massive Unicef Charity Scam”

  1. Wow, if it’s true, then this is shocking!

    I’ve also been affected by his actions and have yet to receive an agreed-upon refund. I was one of the coaches he signed a contract with to work with his clients to help them through his course.

    He’s stopped replying to my emails.

    Reply
      • I’ve managed to find his Facebook page then contacted someone who had put angry faces to see if she had same issue of not getting her refund of £247.00 back from him. She said there’s some more people she know of that didn’t (yet) get their refunds back like he had promised.
        The agreement/written contract before I decided to sign up was convincing and professional so I did. Awaited refund since January and he’d responded to most of my emails saying he’s having difficulty with overseas processing his payment and excuses with delaying it.
        Latest email was on 5 March 2024 with me chasing him up. To date heard nothing (yet).
        Hopefully he will return our monies. If anyone knows the best way legally to pin him down then he cannot scam other people going forward. God bless.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.