Former student athlete details alleged relationship with Guelph running coach
KITCHENER -- From an Olympic hopeful to running from a dark secret: After 16 years, Puslinch native Megan Brown broke her silence this week.
She says she was under-age when track and field coach Dave Scott-Thomas initiated a sexual relationship with her.
Brown's father is the person who initially complained to the University of Guelph in 2006.
Last month, the university acknowledged that Scott-Thomas lied repeatedly back then, and that new information resulted in Scott-Thomas being fired in January.
On Friday, Brown opened up about why she's now going public with her story.
She was in Grade 11 when she first met the coach. She says he asked her to join his new Speed River Running Club.
Within a year, Brown says he went from a coach to something more. She was 17 at the time.
"He took me on a road trip to Toronto to a museum, and that was when he made his first sexual advance, and that evening in the arboretum in Guelph was our first sexual exchange," she says.
Brown says she continued to train with Scott-Thomas as a student athlete at the University of Guelph. Their affair lasted two years.
During that time, Brown says she sought psychiatric help twice for mental breakdowns and confusion.
"It's that complete feeling of just complete overwhelm and feeling very trapped and it's almost a response to the level of fear that you are feeling," Brown tells CTV.
In the fall of 2004, Brown says she confided in another teammate.
That's when Scott-Thomas asked her to leave the varsity team.
"He was very, very upset with me and in our final encounter, he made it clear that I should leave and, because I was so fearful of him, you know, there was just no place for me anymore, and so that definitely influenced my decision to leave," she says.
Brown says that, after a couple of years of healing, she moved on to the University of Toronto, supported by coaches there.
But Scott-Thomas' continued success overshadowed her track career.
"Every time I had to stand at the start line I had to look at him," she says.
"Eventually it took its toll on my body to the point that I had to retire prematurely."
Brown says she's sharing her story now after hearing of a new complaint from another student athlete that surfaced late last year.
Now, she's reflecting on what advice she would give her younger self and younger athletes.
"I would just tell her how incredibly strong she is and I would tell her that she is going to get through this and that she just needs to trust in her strength," she says.
Earlier this week, Dave Scott-Thomas was removed as an inductee from Guelph's Sports Hall of Fame.
In a Globe and Mail report, his lawyer says the allegations are "unsubstantiated" and "inaccurate."
In a statement to CTV News, his lawyer says that Scott-Thomas and his family are requesting privacy at this time and did not provide further comment.
As for Brown, she's recently moved to British Columbia. She hopes coming forward will provide more safety for young athletes.