British Cycling to introduce a code of conduct in response to review

British Cycling chairman Jonathan Browning, speaking in March, says some failings within the organisation have been 'unacceptable'

British Cycling has started work on the development of a code of conduct as part of its response to an independent review into the culture of the organisation.

An investigation began following accusations of bullying and sexism towards top-level cyclists.

A report on its findings is due in May.

The head of British Cycling, Jonathan Browning, said checks were being added to protect against "behaviours that are inappropriate" to individual riders.

"The combination of new leadership team and structure, and the introduction of professional processes will ensure that we deliver on this promise," Browning added.

British Cycling published a 39-point action plan last month to address the draft findings of the independent review, commissioned in April 2016 by British Cycling alongside UK Sport, which provides elite funding to the organisation.

It came after former technical director Shane Sutton, who was was later cleared of eight of nine allegations, was found to have used sexist language towards cyclist Jess Varnish.

UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl says the independent review has "identified valuable lessons" for both British Cycling and other sports it funds.

Initially, key findings were meant to have been published in November. But the process has been delayed by legal wrangling, as those criticised have rejected the panel's findings. The process has also been criticised for not seeking a wider range of views.

Last month, British Cycling was warned it needed to do more to ease "concerns" over the way it is run before it can receive £17m. Grassroots sport funding agency Sport England said it wanted cycling's governing body to "meet the highest standards of governance" first. British Cycling will hold an extraordinary general meeting in July in a bid to vote through reforms.

Meanwhile, athletes are no longer being charged to lodge an appeal should they wish to contest their removal from the sport's World Class Performance programme.

Browning, who was elected chairman in February, is part of an overhaul of the leadership at the governing body, with the new performance director Stephen Park at this week's World Track Cycling Championships in Hong Kong, and new chief executive, Julie Harrington, starting in May. The organisation has also appointed its first 'people director', Michael Chivers.

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