Brailsford: British Cycling wasn’t ruled by fear

Team Sky principal supports inquiry into sexism and bullying

Team Sky’s Dave Brailsford has rejected the claim that British Cycling was ruled by fear. The former head of performance at British Cycling was reacting after a fortnight of allegations of sexism, discrimination, and bullying levelled at the cycling body.

The allegations led to the resignation of Shane Sutton – the man who replaced Brailsford as performance director – although the Australian has strenuously denied the claims made by riders against him.

"The British Cycling model wasn't based around motivation through fear or performance through fear,” Brailsford told the BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"You can't get performance on a continuous basis over a long period of time through fear. I just don't believe it."

The British Cycling set-up enjoyed unprecedented success on the track at the Beijing and London Olympics while Brailsford was in charge. Sutton took over in 2014 and led the team to a successful World Championships in London earlier this year.

However, the Australian was criticised by track sprinter Jessica Varnish after she was cut from the Olympic programme last month. She claimed that Sutton told her to go and have a baby, an allegation he has since denied. Victoria Pendleton and Nicole Cooke - two high-profile female Olympic medal winners – have since criticised British Cycling, and an independent inquiry has been launched in conjunction with UK Sport.

"It's really good that this inquiry has been brought in, so we can establish the truth," Brailsford told the BBC.

"I'm not going to go into the details. What I will do is I'll share everything that I know with that inquiry."

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