Report into 'culture' at British Cycling expected in February

UK Sport to discuss independent investigation findings in coming weeks

A report into the culture at British Cycling is expected to be published next month after an independent investigation has completed, according to a report from the Press Association (PA).

The investigation was launched in April 2016 in the wake of allegations of sexism and bullying against the then Technical Director Shane Sutton. British Rowing chairman Annamarie Phelps led a five-person committee, who have since handed their findings to UK Sport and British Cycling.

PA reports that the independent investigation had taken a much wider scope and looked into the general culture at British Cycling since 2008. Around 200 people were contacted by the panel with as many as 60 requesting personal interviews the report states. The quantity of evidence meant that the investigation has run much longer than originally expected.

In a statement issued to PA, UK Sport confirmed receipt of the report.

"UK Sport and British Cycling have now received the report from the Independent Review Panel into the climate and culture within the World Class Programme of British Cycling,” the statement said."The respective commissioning bodies of UK Sport and British Cycling are now reviewing the report and the panel's recommendations which will be discussed with each respective organisation's boards with a view to publishing the findings and recommendations and a responding statement."

"We are endeavouring to complete this process as soon as is practicable to allow for proper and due consideration of the report."

UK Sport, which funds elite level sport in the UK, will deliberate their findings at their next board meeting on February 2. It is believed that the first opportunity to publicly announce the findings will be February 13.

In April last year, former track rider Jess Varnish alleged that Sutton had used sexist language towards her, including telling her to "move on and go and have a baby" when he informed her that she would no longer be part of the track programme.

Accusations against Sutton's behaviour were subsequently backed up other former riders Victoria Pendleton and Nicole Cooke. Three days after the accusations, British Cycling confirmed the independent investigation and suspended Sutton from his post. The Australian later resigned.

Further accusations of sexist comments and bullying were made in the following weeks. Sutton has always denied the claims and remained confident that he would be cleared. In October, an internal British Cycling investigation upheld Varnish’s allegations, but only on one count out of the nine submitted. Varnish said that she would challenge the ruling as did Sutton.

A Cyclingnews timeline of the allegations and investigation can be found here

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