Irish sprinter Leon Reid has been barred from participating in the 2022 Commonwealth Games following a “security risk assessment,” according to a statement from the Commonwealth Games provided to CNN affiliate CNN-News18.
The Olympic semifinalist was given a suspended sentence in February after he was found guilty of allowing crack cocaine to be produced in his flat in the city of Bristol in southwest England, according to CNN-News18.
Reid was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, with the condition to complete 220 hours of unpaid work by February 18, 2023, Bristol Crown Court confirmed to CNN over email.
Last week, the 27-year-old Reid was named in Northern Ireland’s 2022 Commonwealth Games roster for the 200m men’s event scheduled for August, according to Athletics Northern Ireland. In May, Northern Ireland’s athletics governing body had said Reid would be appraised for selection despite his conviction, CNN-News18 reported.
Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland said it is “seeking clarity” about a possible appeal to the decision, CNN-News18 also reported.
“(We are) disappointed to confirm that track athlete Leon Reid has been denied entry to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games following a security risk assessment. Leon had been selected by CGNI and had been entered into the 200m event prior to the 29th of June deadline,” Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland said in a statement, according to CNN-News18.
“Notification was subsequently received from the Birmingham 2022 organising committee that he would not be allowed to participate. Commonwealth Games NI is currently seeking clarity on any potential appeal mechanism, and the athlete has been offered well-being support as he deals with this news,” the statement added.
CNN has reached out to representatives for Reid, Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth Games Federation for comment.
“As with any major event, delivering a safe and secure experience for all involved requires stringent checks and balances being put in place and adhered to,” Birmingham 2022 tournament organizers said in a statement to CNN.
“Birmingham 2022 has worked closely with the National Accreditation Team to vet and check all delegate attendees that are planning to attend the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Under this nationally recognised guidance, we made clear the parameters and details of checks that would be carried out on all attending individuals. This information was made clear to all teams and Commonwealth Games Associations well in advance of team selections,” the statement added.
Reid made his debut at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, according to his University of Bath biography.
Four years later, he made history when he claimed bronze in the men’s 200m final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, when he became the first Northern Irish athlete to win an international track and field medal in 28 years, the Olympics website said.