Sir Chris Hoy says that he thinks that the time is right for British cycling to ‘have a shake-up’, and that ‘everything is brought out into the open’ regarding recent controversies surrounding the sport.
The 40-year-old, six-time Olympic gold-medal winning former GB track sprint cyclist thinks that British cycling’s reputation has been challenged over the past year, with allegations of bullying and sexism, and controversy surrounding therapeutic use exemption (TUE) certificates.
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Speaking to the Reuters news agency ahead of the Laureus World Sport Awards in Monaco, Hoy said:
“I think it is important that everything, no matter what it is, is brought out in the open and is addressed openly so there is complete transparency and people can see the facts.
“It is frustrating and it’s tough when you see the thing that you love, I wouldn’t say tarnished, but certainly having its reputation challenged. I am sure in the long run cycling will continue to grow and flourish – not just in the UK but all around the world.”
Despite all of the recent controversy surrounding British cycling, Hoy says that the nation’s riders still have a bright future.
“There’s no reason not to think that the future of British cycling is bright,” said Hoy. “We’ve got the talent coming through. Regardless of the situations that have been arising in the last year, I think it’s the right time for British cycling to have a shake-up anyway.”
National governing body British Cycling has come under intense scrutiny over the past 12 months. There were allegations of sexism and bullying within the British cycling team, which led to the resignation of former technical director Shane Sutton.
There were further controversies surrounding the use of TUE certificates by British riders, including Bradley Wiggins; a suspension served by Lizzie Deignan for missed anti-doping tests; and the delivery of a ‘mystery package’ by a British coach to Team Sky during the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.
Members of British Cycling and British WorldTour squad Team Sky have appeared in front of a Culture, Media and Sport parliamentary select committee to answer questions over the various allegations, although there is no proof of any wrong-doing.
A UK Anti-Doping investigation into British Cycling’s activities is on-going.
BC’s chief executive Ian Drake stepped down in January.