University of Tartu removes banned athletics coach from teaching role

Mehis Viru.
Mehis Viru. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The University of Tartu has removed athletics coach Mehis Viru from his post as a lecturer. In mid-February, Viru was banned from athletics coaching by the Estonian Athletic Association (EJKL) for an indefinite period due to violating professional codes of conduct.

In announcing its decision to impose the ban, the EKJL's disciplinary committee revealed, that several young athletes coached by Viru had accused him of physical, mental and sexual harassment.

Priit Kaasik, acting head of the University of Tartu's Institute of Sports Science and Physiotherapy, confirmed to ERR, that Viru has been removed from his teaching role.

Kaasik added, that the decision was in the best interests of all parties involved. "We have informed both the students and staff of the decision. Mehis Viru is aware of the change, he was the first one to know. The situation is confusing and requires some clarification. I would like to add that his removal from the position does not mean his employment contract has been terminated," said Kaasik.

Viru was a lecturer in the didactics of physical education in the University of Tartu's Department of Physical Education and Sport. Viru has denied all charges against him.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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