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British Cycling condemned as independent review is leaked

Josh Cunningham
10 Mar 2017

British Cycling independent review leaked, citing 'culture of fear', 'dysfunctional leadership structure', and ineptitude

Findings from the independent review being carried out on British Cycling have been leaked, with the Daily Mail reporting the that it has seen a draft version that his highly critical of cycling's national governing body. 

It apparently talks of a 'culture of fear' at British Cycling, as well as a lack of appropriate good governance at board level and on the world class performance programme.

The report claims that this lack of strength at board level created an envrionment in which there was a ‘dysfunctional leadership structure’, and that the report made into allegations of sexism by Jess Varnish were 'sanitised' - or worse still, 'reversed' the findings of the grievance officer. 

Grievance officer Alex Russell had apparently found that ‘considerably more’ of Varnish’s claims had originally been proven, but that the ‘harder-hitting investigative findings’ were not included in the final report.

‘As a result it appears that not only did the British Cycling board not accept the findings of its grievance officer,' said the report panel, 'it reversed them.’

‘The actions of the British Cycling board in that regard are shocking and inexcusable,' it continues. 'They also call into serious question whether the composition of the British Cycling board is fit to govern a national sporting body.’

The report says that 'cracks in terms of the climate and culture have been present,’ since the late 2000s, but 'instead of being repaired as they should have been, those cracks were ignored in pursuit of medal success.’ 

In regard to Shane Sutton, the report describes him as having a 'blunt and aggressive coaching style, and that his resignation was a 'sham' but that in terms of 'coaching, equipment, or selection, there was no discrimination on the grounds of gender.’

Finally the report suggests that it may prove 'uncomfortable reading’ for both British Cycling and UK Sport. 

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