Cliff Temple was a leading UK athletics journalist, author, commentator and coach. For many years he was the athletics correspondent of The Sunday Times. He was the son of science fiction author William F. Temple and brother of Anne Patrizio MBE, a leading campaigner for the rights of LGBT people and their parents.
In 1993, Cliff Temple began an investigation into the conflicts of interest in the business affairs of Fatima Whitbread, the former world record-holder in the javelin and the then mistress of Andy Norman, the influential promotions officer of the British Athletic Federation (BAF). Norman threatened that if Temple did not stop asking awkward questions about Whitbread's business with the Chafford Hundred athletics club, he would spread unfounded allegations that Temple had sexually harassed a young woman athlete whom he coached.
Temple carried on with his investigation, and Norman carried out his threat.
In January 1994, when aged 46, Temple committed suicide. Temple's body was found on the railway line at Sandling, not far from his home in Hythe, Kent.
At the inquest into Temple's death the jury were given a transcript of a recording that Temple had made of a telephone interview with Norman in which the threat was made. In their verdict they said that the call had "push him over the edge."
Peter Radford, then executive chairman of the British Athletic Federation, said in April 1994: "So there is no doubt in anyone's mind, I have never heard any evidence of any kind that Cliff Temple ever engaged in any practice which could be construed as sexual impropriety. I would have to conclude that there should be no slur whatsoever on his good name and that his good name has been cleared."
Norman lost his high-profile job in British athletics soon after.
- Inquest report, The Times, April 22, 1994
- The Sunday Times, April 17, 1994
- Running Scared, by Steven Downes and Duncan Mackay (Mainstream), 1996
Temple's published books include:
- "Nadia Comaneci" 1977
- "Jogging for Fitness and Pleasure" 1977
- "Cross Country and Road Running" 1980
- "Challenge of the Marathon" 1981
- "International Running Guide" 1983
- "Running Commentary" (with David Moorcroft) 1984
- "Running from A.to Z." 1987
- "Marathon, Cross Country and Road Running" 1990
- "The Perfect End" 1990
- "Middle Distance Running: Training and Competition" 1993
- Norman warms up for a return to UK athletics' frontline
- The Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford, whose grandstand is named in honour of Cliff Temple
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