A report examining the culture of British Cycling since 2008 is set be released in March – and not next week – as individuals mentioned are being given the right to respond to avoid the possibility of legal challenges.
The UK Sport review – launched last April in the wake of Jess Varnish’s sexism and bullying claims against Shane Sutton, which prompted the Australian to resign as technical director – has been collecting research ever since and has contacted around 200 people, with up to 60 asked for interviews.
UK Sport’s board discussed the report last Wednesday, but it is likely to be a further three weeks before it is in the public domain, with those mentioned in the report being offered to respond to reduce the prospect of legal cases against the findings.
For this reason, it raises the chances that the report could be redacted in places to prevent libel action from personnel who are subject of criticism in the report.
It was thought that the investigation, which is being conducted by a five-person panel, would release its findings in December 2016, but the Guardian reports that the review has taken on a wider scope than originally envisaged.
An October British Cycling report into Varnish’s claims upheld only one of her nine allegations against Sutton, a result which left Varnish “shocked, upset, and bewildered”.
Nicole Cooke, the 2008 road race Olympic and world champion, has alleged sexism and bullying against the national governing body, and just last month delivered a stinging assessment into the apparent culture of BC at the Culture, Media and Sport select committee’s investigation into doping in sport.
Further to UK Sport’s report, a separate UKAD investigation into the mysterious medical package delivered to Team Sky at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2011 – that Sir Dave Brailsford has said contained fluimicil – remains ongoing.
Simon Cope, the then British Cycling coach who transported the said package to Sky, was invited to speak to the Parliament committee on February 22, alongside Dr Richard Freeman. However, Cope cannot attend then, so has requested another date; Freeman will speak on February 22.