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by Mark Zalewski
March 29, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Gilbert solos to win in De Panne opener; Summerhill takes over lead with stage win at Tour de Taiwan; Dr. Freeman breaks silence on medical package contents; UK Sport has ‘serious concerns’ about British Cycling’s handling of Shane Sutton case; Italian federation hands down bans for pay-to-race scandal; With strong Classics showing Naesen ready for De Ronde; Cipollini laments state of Italian cycling, ‘We only have Nibali’; Joe Martin Stage Race kicks-off UCI racing in US; Tour of the Gila announces teams; L’Etape South Africa postponed due to poor road surfaces; Video: Ben King shows off riding in Lucca; Video: Hunt VI.
UK Sport, which provides British Cycling with funding for its elite programme, told the governing body’s board it has “serious concerns” with how it handled the allegation by former rider Jess Varnish against then technical director Shane Sutton. While the board had found Sutton guilty, it only did so on one of nine charges, with some believing the board was trying to pave the way for an eventual return by Sutton.
Jess Varnish (GBR) pictured during 2013 European championships. Her accusations launched the independent investigation into British Cycling.
A Freedom of Information Act request by Press Association turned up an email sent on December 14 by UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl sent to British Cycling’s then-chairman and president Bob Howden.
“I also questioned why UK Sport had not been fully informed of the facts,” Nicholl wrote. “It was a surprise to hear of the board’s involvement of anything other than ensuring due process and handling reputation management, and a shock to hear it revealed in the media that 8/9 of the complaints considered by the internal review (had) not been upheld.” Nicholl also wrote in the email that she has “serious concerns about your process, not least that it was the board that made the findings of fact about the allegations, not the person (Russell) who had directly heard the evidence.”
An internal British Cycling investigation led by board member Alex Russell was reportedly ‘sanitised’ by the British Cycling board before being shared.
UK Sport has approved £26m for British Cycling’s preparation for Tokyo 2020. Nicholl concluded her email saying, “Bob, never doubt we want you to succeed, but when we are investing millions of public funding in an organisation, a significant level of accountability and responsibility rests with its leadership and management.”
Click through to read more at The Independent.