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British Cycling coach fired for 'inappropriate relationships' with riders

Kevin Stewart
(Image credit: SW Pix)

British Cycling has fired one of its key coaches for gross misconduct, including a "long term pattern of inappropriate relationships with riders".

Kevin Stewart, who worked with the sprint arm of the track set-up, has been dismissed for bringing the national federation into disrepute.

An investigation found "no evidence of a physical relationship between Stewart and any rider on the Great Britain Cycling Team", but did deem his use of electronic communication "inappropriate". 

"I wholeheartedly apologise to the team for my actions, which I acknowledge were not acceptable," said Stewart in a statement issued by British Cycling on Wednesday.

"I realised my actions had made my position on the team untenable and had handed in my resignation before being dismissed while on my notice period."

The statement also outlined that Stewart had been warned over his conduct by British Cycling performance director Stephen Park but had "failed to follow specific direction" regarding relationships with riders.

"While this has been uncomfortable for everybody concerned, it demonstrates the robustness of the processes we have in place when concerns are raised," Park said.

"The Great Britain Cycling Team has a clear set of expected behaviours and values and we must hold ourselves and each other to account when we do not meet the standards of behaviour we set as a team."

The news comes the day after British Cycling announced the appointment of Brian Facer as CEO, replacing Julie Harrington in January. 

Facer, said to be a "passionate cyclist", has spent most of his career in rugby and joins from the London Irish club as British Cycling heads towards the Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

"It is an exciting time for the whole cycling community across the country, where we are going into the postponed Olympic and Paralympic year, have had another British rider become a Grand Tour champion, and have seen the number of recreational cyclists increase dramatically during the last six months," said Facer.

"I’ve been a very keen cyclist all of my life, ranging from bike rides with my family all the way through to mountain biking across the Alps and completing a number of Etapes du Tour, including Col du Tourmalet and Alpe d’Huez, so being offered the position of CEO of British Cycling is a dream come true."

As Features Editor, Patrick is responsible for Cyclingnews' long-form and in-depth output. Patrick joined Cyclingnews in 2015 as a staff writer after a work experience stint that included making tea and being sent to the Tour de Langkawi. Prior to that, he studied French and Spanish at university and went on to train as a journalist. Rides his bike to work but more comfortable on a football pitch.