British Cycling chair to step down after less than 10 months in role

Jonathan Browning says he is also withdrawing his candidacy for new role of independent chair

British Cycling HQ
(Image credit: Russ Ellis)

Jonathan Browning, the chair of British Cycling, will step down on December 1 after less than 10 months in the role as the national governing body adapts to comply with the new Code for Sports Governance introduced by UK Sport.

Browning took over as chair from Bob Howden in February, but told a British Cycling board meeting on Wednesday that he will be stepping down from the role to enable a new independent chair to be appointed.

Browning said that he wouldn't be putting himself forward for the new independent chair role, and that his time as chair had seen the organisation move away from being in "the depths of a crisis" to being in a more stable state of health.

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"When I look back over the period that I have been chair, I am immensely proud of what has been achieved and feel confident about the position that British Cycling is now in. Despite coming a long way, there is still more to do," Browning said.

"I remain as committed as ever to ensuring that British Cycling continues to move in the right direction and at a pace faster than any other national governing body. The new chair can be assured of my continuing support in this endeavour."

Julie Harrington, who was appointed as British Cycling CEO in March, paid tribute to Browning's work during a difficult time at the headquarters in Manchester.

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"I would like to place on record my personal thanks to Jonathan who has given me strong support and great advice through the first few months of my time as chief executive," Harrington said.

"Under his leadership, British Cycling defined and has begun rapid changes to adapt and grow into the role it has earned in the public life of this country and that is a process I am committed to continuing."

During Browning's time as chair, British Cycling has continued to be subject to negative headlines, with staff members speaking of a "culture of fear"a in the organisation in a much-delayed independent report released in June, and questions continuing to be raised over the medical records kept by former British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman, who resigned last month.

However the same period has also seen steps taken to deal with the problems inherited by Browning in August, with the appointment of Nigel Jones as head of medical services and the publishing of plans to deal with the problems raised in the report over sexism and discrimination.

The British Cycling Nominations Committee is currently recruiting for the new independent chair, with Browning returning to his previous role of non-executive director on the board.

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