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by Shane Stokes
June 15, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Sagan extends record with victory on stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse; Roglic wins prologue of Ster ZLM Toer; Romano wins stage 6 of the U23 Giro d’Italia; Former UCI president Hein Verbruggen loses fight against leukaemia; British Cycling discrimination report released amid claims of whitewash; Cookson ‘would be surprised’ if rumoured rivals for UCI presidency stand for election; Deutsch carves out Trans Am lead, records on the line; Trek expands endurance range with new entry-level Domane AL aluminum models; Video: Peter Sagan press conference after stage 5 of the 2017 Tour de Suisse; Video: Tour de Suisse 2017 – full prologue of Peter Sagan; Video: Disc Brakes Vs Rim Brakes with Chris Hoy; Video: how not to watch a bike race; Sagan’s Suisse celebration.
The long-awaited report into bullying and discrimination at British Cycling was finally released on Wednesday but, while it was critical of former BC technical director Shane Sutton and others, came under fire for having been watered down.
A stronger draft version of the report was leaked several months ago, assessing claims of discrimination made by the track sprinter Jess Varnish plus other Olympic and Paralympic riders. That original report said that Varnish’s dropping was an “act of retribution,” and that there “was and remains a culture of fear” at the programme.
In contrast, the new report discards the finding of retribution and waters down the culture of fear quote to saying “many staff members said there was a culture of fear.” In addition to that, the word ‘bullying’ has been removed complete, save for reported speech, as was any direct criticism of Dave Brailsford. It does however criticise British Cycling’s board, former technical director Shane Sutton plus the funding agency UK Sport.
The independent review was headed by the former British Rowing chairman Annamarie Phelps, who rejected criticisms. “I don’t believe it’s a whitewash,” she said. “I think it’s quite a strong report with very strong recommendations and very strong criticisms. I don’t think there’s a shift in tone. I think we’ve been as strong. We’ve changed some of the wording.”
The report’s release comes after 14 months of interviews and legal back and forth. It doesn’t back up Varnish’s claims that she was dismissed from the programme after being critical of coaching decisions. Instead, it states that, ‘The panel did not view her removal as an act of discrimination but, in the panel’s view at the very least, it did not follow contractual due process.”
Click through to read more at the Guardian.