British Cycling: Report into culture after general election

Jess Varnish
Jess Varnish was one of several cyclists to complain about the culture at British Cycling

A long-awaited report into an alleged culture of bullying at British Cycling is expected to be published in the week after the 8 June general election.

An investigation started last year after claims made by former Great Britain track sprinter Jess Varnish and other Olympians and Paralympians.

A draft report that criticised the organisation was leaked in March.

Due to rules preventing publication before an election, the week beginning 12 June is now targeted.

The report - co-commissioned by UK Sport and British Cycling - is now finished.

However, the political convention of purdah, which prevents some government-related announcements before elections, has blocked its release prior to 8 June.

A panel of five - including former England rugby union coach Stuart Lancaster and led by Annamarie Phelps, the chair of British Rowing - has produced the report.

Initial publication was pushed back because of the number of people wanting to speak to the panel, and the legal obligation to give individuals criticised a right of reply led to further delays.

The March leak, published in the Daily Mail, outlined a "culture of fear" at British Cycling, with some staff "bullied".

In response, British Cycling admitted it did not pay "sufficient care and attention" to the wellbeing of staff and athletes at the expense of winning medals.

The Manchester-based organisation was also said to have "sanitised" its own investigation into claims former technical director Shane Sutton used sexist language towards Varnish, who was dropped from British Cycling's elite programme last April.

Australian Sutton, who quit in the wake of Varnish's allegations, was found guilty of using sexist language towards her but cleared of eight of nine charges against him. He was also cleared of any bullying allegations.

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