England Athletics will cover Brits’ missing prize money as Ladbrooke admits debts
by Paul Halford
October 6, 2011
Athletes manager and former England Athletics team manager Ian Ladbrooke has apologised to his creditors after his sizeable debts were exposed on an internet blog.
The British agent admits to having accrued debts of around $330,000 in his dealings as an agent and as a director and elite athlete co-ordinator for races which have included IAAF Gold Label events.
Athletics journalist Pat Butcher recently accused “devious” Ladbrooke of “cheating” numerous athletes around the world. In a follow-up article, he revealed that while Ladbrooke was contracted as a team manager for England Athletics he failed to pass on winnings to leading athletes from a race in Denmark in May.
England Athletics were apparently unaware of the late payments until recently but say they will imminently directly resolve the matter with the athletes.
Butcher’s blog began: “Corruption comes in many forms; but cheating Third World athletes out of their hard-earned winnings must come high on the list of low-life pursuits.”
He added: “Ladbrooke is not the only miscreant manager on the marathon circuit, he’s simply the worst.”
His article presents a catalogue of complaints from athletes and agents globally, including Ricky Simms, who manages Usain Bolt.
Ladbrooke told AW this week that plans to remortgage his house in order to meet half his debts had been scuppered when he had lost large contracts with England Athletics and the Ras Al Khaimah Half-marathon in the UAE in the light of the exposé.
The former coach and agent to world marathon record-holder Patrick Makau admitted: “I’ve made a mess of things and I’ve got debts. I’m not denying that and I’m sincerely apologetic and I’m doing what I can to try to resolve the situation.”
He said he was “trying to remain positive” that he could do so as he still had several contracts with races and was dealing with athletes, as well as looking for other work inside and outside the sport.
When Ladbrooke acted as team manager for a successful England team of six at the Lillebaelt Half-marathon on May 8, he received £4700 of prize money from the organisers, which he did not pass on to the athletes. It is not uncommon for organisers to pay out money in such a way.
Regarding the money owed to Toby Lambert, James Smith, Michael Aspinall, Emily Wicks, Sarah Stradling and Justina Heslop, he said: “Unfortunately it disappeared into the black hole. I’m trying to raise some money from the family to deal with that part of it.”
A statement from England Athletics last week read: “Ian Ladbrooke has served as one of the team managers for England Athletics with involvement in our work in road running. He does not currently hold any role with England Athletics.
“We are now aware that some athletes have experienced problems with payment of prize money after representing England Athletics. We have been in contact with these athletes and have been working on this as a matter of urgency. We expect financial matters for these athletes to resolved the week commencing October 3.”
Ladbrooke, who said he did not believe England Athletics were aware of financial problems when they started using him, added: “One or two people at England [Athletics] have been criticised for this and I don’t think they should be. I think it’s my responsibility. I’m taking it on my shoulders and I want to resolve it.”