UK Sport are asking for an investigation into claims that British Cycling's kit was being sold online for profit, according to reports in the Daily Mail. The news comes in the wake of Shane Sutton's resignation as technical director.
Skin suits to £10,000 bicycles – paid for with National Lottery money – were allegedly sold on the internet. At the time this article was published, British Cycling and UK Sport had not yet responded to Cycling Weekly regarding the claims.
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A UK Sport spokesman told the Daily Mail overnight, "We have asked British Cycling to investigate as a matter of urgency because it is vital we protect our investment."
The news comes just one day after Sutton stepped down as technical director of British Cycling following claims that he made derogatory towards female and para-cyclists.
Cycling is the most funded UK sport behind rowing. UK Sport gives cycling £30,517,816 in the four-year period, from 2013 to 2017, of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. It is unclear where the sales profits would have landed if the kit was sold online.
In May of 2015, British Cycling switched from Pinarello to Cervélo bicycles. The bicycles are estimated to be worth five figures. High-performance skin suits made for the team were available on eBay for £99, the report also suggested.
"Official" track skin suits are currently available on eBay for £99.99, but it is unclear if they are directly from British Cycling or a proper outlet.
The independent probe launched after Jess Varnish and others made claims against Sutton will also reportedly investigate the kit issue.
Sutton said yesterday that "it is in the best interests of British Cycling for me to step down" because "developments over the past few days have clearly become a distraction."
His next move is unclear. The Daily Mail suggests it might not be a rushed one as it understands Sutton is still on a retainer from team Sky worth "thousands of pounds a month."
He left as head coach of Sky in 2013 to focus on British Cycling. Team Sky told the newspaper, "Shane has maintained an involvement in the team. We do not release details of the salaries of anyone employed by, or previously employed by, Team Sky."
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