07222017

Date set for report into alleged bullying at British Cycling

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 will be published on Wednesday.

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.

Co-commissioned by UK Sport and British Cycling in April 2016, the report was prepared by a panel of five led by British Rowing chair Annamarie Phelps.

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 general election, which was held on 8 June, added seven more weeks of 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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