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Andre De Grasse returns to controversial coach ahead of 2024 Olympics

Rana Reider previously coached De Grasse from 2018 to 2022, before "distractions" derailed their relationship

Andre De Grasse Photo by: James Rhodes (@jrhdoesathletics)

In a surprising turn of events, Canadian sprint star Andre De Grasse will reunite with his controversial former coach, Rana Reider, just nine months before the start of the 2024 Paris Olympics. De Grasse is coming off his fastest 200m time in two years (19.76) and a Diamond League title to end the 2023 season.

The move back to Reider marks a significant switch in De Grasse’s career, as the American coach, based in Jacksonville, Fla., who previously guided him from 2018 to 2022, is serving a one-year probation from U.S. SafeSport for having a relationship with an 18-year-old athlete.

Rana Reider
American sprint coach Rana Reider. Photo: Twitter/CPT 

Reider’s probation status allows him to continue coaching elite sprinters, including notable names like the reigning Olympic champion, Italy’s Marcell Jacobs, who decided to join Reider’s group last month, and American Trayvon Bromell. His association with disgraced Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare, who received an 11-year doping ban in 2022, also brought scrutiny.

When De Grasse won gold in the 200m along with two other medals in the 100m and relay at the Tokyo Olympics, he was training with Reider.

De Grasse revealed to CBC Sports that the decision was influenced by his partner U.S. 100m hurdler  Nia Ali and was driven by the desire to create a better environment for their children, including access to better schools and extracurricular activities in the Jacksonville area, compared to their previous location in Orlando. The 28-year-old sprinter emphasized that the “distractions” from the previous season have been resolved, and that he enjoyed his first training session back with Reider’s Tumbleweed Track Club.

Andre De Grasse and his daughter Yuri
Andre De Grasse and his daughter Yuri at the 2022 Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore. Photo: Kevin Morris

In an interview with CBC Sports, De Grasse’s now former coach, Ireland’s John Coghlan, expressed no hard feelings regarding his decision, acknowledging that it’s common for athletes to seek familiarity and past successes with their former coaches. He also emphasized that the change was made on good terms.

In a recent chat with Canadian Running about his new book, Ignite, De Grasse opened up about his unfinished business on the track. He spoke about wanting to break the Canadian 100m record of 9.84 held by Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin, and his ambition to win three golds in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay at the Paris Olympics.

Andre De Grasse
Andre De Grasse celebrates 4x100m gold at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore. Photo: Kevin Morris

***********Athletics Canada, in response to De Grasse’s coaching shift, confirmed its awareness of his collaboration with Reider as his personal coach. The organization emphasized the importance of background screening and safe sport training for all coaches participating in Athletics Canada’s official events and training camps.***********

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