The publication of a report into allegations of sexism and bullying in British Cycling is to be delayed until next month, according to the Guardian. The report, which follows an inquiry led by UK Sport, was due to be published next week but has been delayed for at least two weeks in order to allow certain individuals to respond.
It is likely that the final report will be redacted in places in order to alleviate the risk of libel action from those implicated or criticised in testimony.
The decision was taken following a meeting of the board of UK Sport last week. The investigation into the culture of British Cycling is being conducted by a five-person committee, headed by the chairperson of British Rowing, Annemarie Phelps.
The Guardian reports that the investigation expanded its scope following its initial inquiries into the culture of British Cycling dating back to 2008. The newspaper notes that some 200 people were contacted by the panel, and as many as 60 sought personal interviews.
The inquiry, announced by UK Sport last April, was ordered following allegations of sexism and bullying made by Jess Varnish against the former technical director Shane Sutton. Varnish claimed that Sutton had used sexist and discriminatory language towards her when informing her that she had not been selected for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, including telling her to “move on and get on with having a baby".
A number of other riders have publicly supported Varnish’s denunciation of the culture within British Cycling, most notably Nicole Cooke, who provided damning evidence during her testimony before the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, which is carrying out an inquiry into doping and governance in sport.
In October British Cycling announced that Varnish's allegations of discrimination had been upheld, but in December it emerged that was the case for just one of the nine specific allegations she made. Varnish has since instructed her legal team to appeal the report, and her lawyers have sought access to all text messages between the former technical director Sutton and his coaches Iain Dyer, Justin Grace and Jan van Eijden, along with any emails or documents that mention her. Performance data, medical records, personnel files and the full report on the internal investigation have also been requested.
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