She’s one of Britain’s great hopes for the Olympics, but heptathlete Jessica Ennis has endured comments from senior figures within UK Athletics making comments about her weight.
But today, her coach has fought back at the claims. Toni Minichiello, who has coached Ennis since she was 11 years old, told The Guardian that although an unnamed critic (a “high ranking” official) has suggested "that she's fat and she's got too much weight", the statements were ridiculous, and from people who should “know better”.
"The things you can't deal with are what we've dubbed 'silver bullets'," he said. "And other people. You can't deal with the expectations and pressures that are on other people, like the BOA's [British Olympic Association] team management”
Minichiello added “I've never had any issue with her weight or shape. There are times I've wished she was taller, but that's it” and that her weight and body fat percentage had remained constant"
Ennis, who is in Gotzis to compete in her only full heptathlon before London 2012, also dismissed the remarks, telling reporters “I'm not going to go into that right now. It's not an issue at all. It's definitely a funny one, but it's not an issue”.
UK Athletics have so far declined to comment.