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No crisis at British Cycling says boss Ian Drake

Ian Drake is the chief executive of British Cycling

Ian Drake is the chief executive of British Cycling

British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake has told the BBC the governing body is not in "crisis" following recent allegations of sexism and the resignation of technical director Shane Sutton.

"Not at all. We have to get the independent review right and there is no point having a system where people feel they are not in a supportive environment and not potentially being given a duty of care," Drake told the BBC when asked if British Cycling was in crisis.

Suspended by British Cycling on Tuesday, Sutton resigned from the role he held since 2014 on Wednesday following allegations of sexism and discrimination from current and former riders. 

The news of Sutton's resignation coincided with the 100 day countdown to the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games with the Australian recognising the need for British cyclists to have the best possible preparation, stating  "Today starts the 100-day countdown to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is absolutely crucial that, as our athletes begin their final preparations for Rio, they are able to do so free of distraction," said Sutton who will be replaced short term by programmes director Andy Harrison.

Drake explained to the BBC that Sutton's decision to step down was "in the best interest in the team" ahead of Rio, adding that he doesn't believe sit will affect Great Britain medals at the August Games.

"It would have been great to have Shane there, obviously the effect he brings, but with the distraction around him at the moment it potentially would have been detrimental," said Drake. "The important thing as well, it's not just about the medals. As an organisation, it's about how we use the medals and we've inspired millions of people to get on the bike on the back of the success of Team GB and the medals and we need to keep doing that in order for the sport to keep growing."

Drake added that over the past four years the governing body has been evolving and is well placed for future success despite the departure of Sutton.

"We've worked really hard since London 2012 about how do we bring through a new generation of coaches, get new coaches into the system. So we’ve really refreshed the system in terms of the coaches that we have. We have a great team of coaches, athletes so we are in a really, really strong position to carry on to that medal success." 

Great Britain won 12 medals at the 2012 London Olympic Games, eight of those gold, with Germany second on the table with six medals. Four years earlier in Beijing, Great Britain took home 14 medals of which eight were also gold.

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