Charlie Francis has died


Forever in the hearts of his family and friends.

Condolences to his family and in particular Ange and James.

Have no words…a bit shocked…RIP Charlie, I regret not having met him, but he is for sure the greatest influence in training I ever had.
I’ll never forget his humour on this forum, ither than his competence.
To his wife and his son, my condolences.

Damn… Very Sad… I am so sorry to hear this. He was a great coach and person.

I wish the Angela and the rest of the Francis family all the best.

RIP Charlie

My condolences go out to his family

I’m without words other than condolences to family - both immediate and those on this website.

I am certainly a better athletics coach because of him and know that his influence on my work will remain true to that as well.

RIP Charlie. And thank you.

Hi All,

I am really sadden and shocked and cant believe it.

This man gave me his time and help, moulded my understanding in sprinting and the sports

Condolenses to Angela and James and May his soul rest in Peace.

The coaching world has lost a true great.

Condolences to Angie and James and family, please accept my sympathy.

Rest in peace Charlie, I will miss you.

Just recently spent a week in Toronto with Angela - Charlie - and James it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. CF and I walked everywhere and talked about many things - it was my first trip to Toronto.

In typical CF fashion he gave me the low down on the political ‘shit show’ going on in Toronto and his thoughts on how they could be rectified - he had a great sense of humour and truly cared about Toronto and Canada.

To be invited into his home and having the opportunity to meet his wonderful wife Angela and his pride and joy James his son, was a unique opportunity to see another side of Charlie. It was obvious to me to see how much he adored and loved his family and they he.

Anyone having had a chance to eat a meal prepared by Angela knows only too well what a great meal is supposed to taste like. I was not on a weight gaining program on this trip - but I must have packed home an extra 5 pounds in my short stay.

I will always be grateful to CF for his honest and masterful thoughts on training, and his critical evaluation of our training programs.

We at Athletes Nation express our deepest sympathies to the Francis Family - Our thoughts and prayers are with them. And to my friend and mentor Charlie Francis - may you rest in peace.

Daniel La Joie
Director of Athletic Performance
Athletes Nation

My sincere condolences to the Francis family.

Charile’s spirit isn’t dead as it lives on in all of us who will continue to teach the training principles he developed.

I am glad I’ve met him and honoured to have learned so much from him.

Farewell Sensei!

You will certainly be missed Charlie! I had the honor of training with him and meeting his family. I wish the media knew the “real” Charlie. He was a great guy. My condolences to his wife and son.

This is a very sad day indeed. The sports world has lost ones it true greats and his influence reaches far beyond that of track and field.

My condolences go to Ange, James and the rest of the Francis extended family.

Below is something I posted following my attendance of one his seminars.

Charlie the man.
People have asked me what was Charlie like? To me he seemed down to earth and pretty comfortable with his lot. He entertained with anecdotes and insights. No question was dodged. There was no false modesty, bragging or PR speak in his delivery, it was a matter of simply presenting things as they are.

RIP Charlie.

My Condolences to Angie and Family.

This is terrible news… :frowning:

Rest in peace Charlie…Godspeed

My condolences to the family…

Ange and James,

My condolences go to you both.

I am absolutely shocked by this news.

I am extremely saddened to hear this news especially since there was no for warning of what was to come. Like many others on here, even though we never met, Charlie has had the great impact on my education and I will never forget him for that. May he rest in peace. My condolences go out to all his family and friends.

My wife called me while I was at practice today to tell me that Charlie had died, and I was barely able to finish the practice I was so upset.

I have never met him in person but he’s been by far the best influence on me as a coach, and I’m sure there are hundreds of people, if not more, who could say the same thing.


A pariah’s honesty lifted curtain on drugs
By Mike Hurst
From: The Sydney Daily Telegraph

November 30, 2009 12:00AM

LAST week, the winner of the Beijing men’s 1500m - one of the five-star events on any athletics program - was banned for doping during the Games and forfeited his Olympic gold medal.

The story rated a two-paragraph brief in this newspaper, about the same coverage it received around the world outside speciality sports mags.

Perhaps the lack of interest was because the International Olympic Committee took a year to decide that Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi had been guilty of taking CERA, an advanced form of the blood oxygen-boosting banned drug erythropoietin (EPO).

The shock had worn off over time. And that’s the point really.

How different now to when Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was busted at the 1988 Seoul Games for anabolic steroids. He was the first Olympic gold medallist to fail a drug test and was royalty in the men’s 100m - one of the other five-star events.

Johnson’s bust was front, back and inside every newspaper in the world.

His coach Charlie Francis was banned for life from coaching in Canada.

After refusing to perjure himself at the 1989 judicial inquiry into doping in Canadian sport, known as the Dubin Inquiry, Francis was portrayed by sportswriters as a lone wolf, a pariah, the only coach in the world complicit in the doping of his champions.

Today, Francis has his own coaching website through which he dispenses technical advice and his own piercing observations on the state of the game.

It is laced with a wicked sense of humour.He rejoices in the identity of the avatar which accompanies his posts: a photo of Dr Evil, arch villain of the Austin Powers comedy films.

When he explained his actions to the Dubin Inquiry, he spoke knowingly of trying to compete on a level playing field. He told of the long-standing practice of “doping ships” - floating laboratories - belonging to the USSR and East Germany anchoring at Incheon, the harbour for Seoul. Onboard, their athletes could be treated with dope and tested to make sure they would not be detected during competition.

Sporting and media powers ridiculed him, attacking him for implying that some - most - of Johnson’s opponents were also dopers.

That was 20 years ago - the year the infamous Berlin Wall was torn down. In that time more than 1000 athletes have been banned for doping, none coached by Francis.

And earlier this month, Stasi documents were unearthed confirming everything Francis testified about East Germany’s floating labs at the Montreal Games of 1976 and Olympics to follow.

Montreal has been recalled as the nadir of Australia’s Olympic tradition by those critical of the Crawford report into funding for Australian sport.

We won only three medals in 1976 - none of them gold.

How things have changed; the USSR has fragmented into its constituent states and East Germany has reunified with West Germany, a new superpower in waiting.

Australia has placed as high as fifth on the Olympic medal table, although if the Crawford report is to be enacted upon it is just a matter of time before it’s Montreal deja vu for Australians.

And it’s no longer a surprise when an Olympic gold medallist gets busted, even during the Games. Ramzi was one of five athletes the IOC has retrospectively banned following suspicious results in Beijing last year.

My condolences to Ange and James.

Charlie influences the way I train and think now, a truly brilliant and kind human being.

Charlie Jenks

Having met Charlie close to 10 years ago at dinner with Ian King in Toronto, he was truly a great influence on me. I remember peppering him with questions and he was gracious to answer all of them. The times I have been to Toronto ans spent with Charlie will be amongst the fondest I have had in my coaching career. My thought and prayers are with Angela and James in this terrible time. God bless them all.