British Cycling: Stephen Park says concerns over performance director role eased

Stephen Park joins British Cycling after a successful spell at British Sailing
Stephen Park joins British Cycling after a successful spell at British Sailing

Incoming British Cycling performance director Stephen Park says discussions with the organisation have allayed fears he had about taking on the role.

Park, 49, was appointed in December, since when chairman Jonathan Browning has apologised for "failings" at the governing body following accusations of bullying and sexism against elite cyclists.

"From the interactions I've had with British Cycling, what I read in the paper doesn't represent what I see on the ground now," Park told BBC Sport.

Asked whether recent revelations have caused him concern about his new role, which he has yet to start, he added: "Of course, it would be a little bit disingenuous to say I've not had those thoughts at some time.

"From the reviews going on there are going to be lessons learned."

And Park, who joins British Cycling after overseeing British Sailing for 15 years, added: "Not being directly involved in the performance end of cycling historically, I very much hope that will be a benefit.

"Going in as a non-cyclist perhaps gives me the opportunity to ask those questions that people haven't asked for a while - to reassure ourselves that the processes we have and systems we have are appropriate."

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British Cycling chairman Jonathan Browning says some of the issues within the organisation have been 'unacceptable'

An investigation into alleged failings at British Cycling is to be published imminently, but a draft version of the report has been leaked.

Responding to the leaked details, British Cycling acknowledged it had "focused on medal delivery without sufficient care and attention to the overall staff and athlete culture and environment".

The body claims it has instigated steps to improve its culture, but Sport England has asked for "more work" to be done if it is to grant £17m of funding.

Park admits public confidence in British Cycling's decision-making needs to be restored.

"We're the third highest participation sport in the UK," he said. "It's important to all of those cyclists to get British Cycling back, in terms of a governance and organisational perspective, to where we would all like to see it."

Park is British Cycling's first performance director since 2014, when Sir Dave Brailsford left the role to focus on duties at Team Sky.

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