A longtime and prominent track coach and former Olympian was arrested in Los Angeles on Wednesday and charged with one felony count of sexual battery by fraud for allegedly molesting one of his former athletes. The arrest reportedly comes as the result of an Outside The Lines investigation that detailed allegations against coach Conrad Avondale Mainwaring made by 31 different men, stretching as far back as the mid-1970s.
Mainwaring, who competed in the 1976 Olympics as a track athlete for Antigua-Barbuda, is accused of disguising sexual abuse as a kind of “mental training” that would help athletes realize their physical potential. Some of his alleged victims were teenagers at a summer camp in New England, and the youngest was reportedly 14 years old at the time of the alleged assault. Per the ESPN report:
They described Mainwaring using his Olympic credentials and relationships with accomplished athletes and expertise in psychology and physiology to persuade boys and young men to train with him. They said he initiated sexual contact under the guise of mental training that focused on getting them to control and manipulate erections and testosterone levels as a means of improving athletic performance.
Virtually all of the alleged victims said Mainwaring convinced them that none of the acts were sexual, rather that they were “all clinical” and designed to make them superior athletes. One recalled Mainwaring telling him, “You can be an Olympian, too, you know. You can get to this level.”
According to the report, from Mike Kessler and Mark Fainaru-Wada, the statute of limitations expired on many of the cases “by the time many of the alleged victims decided to go public.” But Mainwaring’s arrest came after a 22-year-old Southern California man came forward upon learning of the Outside The Lines investigation. This accuser says Mainwaring positioned “massage and manipulation of the man’s genitals” as a training exercise, when the accuser was a 20-year-old college student and track athlete.
Mainwaring, who is now 67 years old, trained some pretty prominent athletes in his day, including two-time Olympic gold medalist hurdler Félix Sánchez of the Dominican Republic, and American Olympic silver medalist Sheena Johnson. If found guilty of the 2016 accusation, he could face up to four years in prison. Read the whole report here.