Days after complaints about his sexually graphic Twitter exchanges, Dave Bedford is apparently out as the CEO of Athletics Canada.
Amid a bizarre couple of days for the national sport organization, Athletics Canada announced in a post on Wednesday that Bedford would be retiring immediately, by mutual agreement. Athletics Canada removed the post moments later.
The news comes after the board of directors held an emergency meeting on Monday after receiving complaints about Bedford’s social media activity. The CBC reported that the vote to terminate Bedford was nearly unanimous.
Mat Gentes, the current chief operating officer, has been named interim-CEO, according to the announcement that appeared briefly.
The complaints against Bedford arose over numerous tweets that dated back to the Tokyo Olympics.
In one exchange, a woman alludes to oral sex. A tweet from Bedford’s account responds: “You are killing me girl. Don’t know whether to laugh or cry reading your tweets!”
In another, a woman remarks about not wearing a bra. A tweet from Bedford’s account responds: “Always important to have a couple of firm, upstanding individuals.”
In a lengthy Facebook post on Wednesday, Bedford wrote: “It is with a tremendous amount of excitement, and loads and loads of thanks to more people than I can mention that I have officially retired today.”
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Bedford was hired by Athletics Canada in 2019 after numerous high-profile sports positions over 40 years in the business.
In his Facebook post he wrote that he was already semi-retired at that point, but “agreed to come back to work for a period of 18-24 months to mentor staff before I retired for good. . . and well past the time I told AC I would give it, and with COVID still raging, it is time for me to retire for good.”
Bedford was the executive director, marketing and communications with the Canadian Olympic Committee, the executive director of Team Canada for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the senior vice-president of business operations for the Toronto Argonauts and the 100th Grey Cup Festival.
A recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal, Bedford has also served on the board of directors for the Canadian Olympic Committee and Water Polo Canada, and was the chef de mission for the 2004 Olympic Games.
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