British Cycling CEO Ian Drake to step down

BBC reports long-time leader expected to leave in April, 2017

British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake is set to announce that he will step down in April, BBC Sport Live reported today.

Drake has been with the organisation since 1995, when he was a consultant for developing young riders programmes in schools and clubs.

In 2000, he became the national talent coordinator that developed riders like multiple Olympic gold medallists Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and top female rider Lizzie Deignan (neé Armitstead).

He became British Cycling CEO in 2008, taking over from Peter King, and led the organisation to 14 Olympic gold medals between the London and Rio Olympic Games.

His departure comes after a year chock full of controversy, between allegations of sexism within British Cycling and the ethical questions surrounding the legal use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) by British riders which was revealed by Russian hackers Fancy Bears, who released dozens of Olympians' TUE application documents.

The UCI and World Anti-Doping Agency support the athletes in the use of the TUE process, which is built into the anti-doping rules and allow for riders to use normally banned drugs in competition should they have a medical need, and UCI president Brian Cookson has emphatically stated that riders like Bradley Wiggins have violated no rules in availing themselves of TUEs.

Former British Cycling president Tony Doyle was highly critical of Drake in comments to the BBC about Drake's impending departure.

"I'm very surprised, it seems to me to be very clever timing by Ian Drake," Doyle said. "There's no doubt that British Cycling has had tremendous success. The architects of this success ... are Peter Keen and Ian Drake's predecessor Peter King. They did a fantastic job to get cycling in the position that it is, together with the current president Bob Howden - who's done a fantastic job of promoting and attracting the World Championships to come to Yorkshire...

"I'm devastated as a cyclist of over 40 years myself to see the federation as in disarray as it is at the moment. It's disheartening, and it's a shame to see that these allegations and questions are being asked about. Our governing body British Cycling is under the microscope, under scrutiny."

Doyle held Drake accountable for the growing controversy surrounding British Cycling.

"It's been crisis after crisis, we've lurched from one problem to another problem. Ian Drake's been the CEO, so ultimately he's responsible. A lot of these things should have been made public and they could have been handled a lot better."

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