April 10, 2021

Leon Reid: Ireland sprinter on bail after being charged with drugs offences

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Leon Reid crosses the finishing line at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin
Leon Reid is aiming to represent Ireland in the 200m at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer

Irish sprinter Leon Reid has been charged with drug offences in England.

Reid was released on bail after he appeared with three other men at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on 31 March.

The 26-year-old is charged with conspiracy to supply a class A drug, permitting premises to be used in the production of a class A crack cocaine, concealing criminal property, and acquiring criminal property.

He denies all of the charges.

The four men will appear at Bristol Crown Court on 12 May.

A fifth man failed to appear before the hearing on 31 March in Bristol and a warrant is now out for his arrest.

The South West Regional Organised Crime Unit said Reid, whose address was stated as Longmead Terrace in Bath, and four others were arrested last year as part of Operation Venetic, the UK law enforcement response to the take down of encrypted global communications service EncroChat.

The police investigation is into the large scale supply of drugs, possession of firearms and ammunition, and money laundering.

Reid won a bronze medal in the 200m for Northern Ireland at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, and is aiming to represent Ireland in the same event at the rescheduled Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

An Athletics Ireland statement, released on Wednesday, said: “Athletics Ireland has been notified today that an Irish international athlete, Leon Reid, has been charged with a criminal offence outside the jurisdiction of Ireland.

“Athletics Ireland cannot comment further until all elements of due process have been completed.”

A former European silver medallist at junior and under-23 medal for Great Britain, Bath-born Reid changed his allegiance to Ireland in July 2018, following a process that lasted almost two years.

He reached the European Championship 200m final in Berlin in 2018 and competed for Ireland as recently as March at the European Indoor Championships in Torun.