UK Sport and British Cycling have announced that Annamarie Phelps CBE will Chair the jointly commissioned independent review into British Cycling’s World Class Programme.
Phelps is the Chair of British Rowing, a trustee and vice chair of the British Paralympic Association, a board member of the British Olympic Association and rowed for Great Britain at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.
The review will get underway imminently and conclude following the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games to minimise the disruption to British Cycling’s final preparations for Rio, while allowing athletes and support personnel to play a full role in the review.
A Commissioning Board will be established comprising Marian Lauder MBE, Non-Executive Director of British Cycling, and Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport to ensure the panel is supported in its work.
Phelps will now appoint a review panel, to include a balance of professional skills, leadership and experience and insight into the World Class Programme environment, including an athlete’s perspective. The Panel will then determine the exact review process.
The key findings and recommendations of the review will be published, following its conclusion, ensuring confidentiality for those who wish to give evidence.
The independent review Terms of Reference will be as follows:
• Must include, but is not limited to, all forms of discrimination and bullying;
• Does not include British Cycling’s own investigation into the alleged misconduct of a member of staff, however, lessons learnt by British Cycling from this separate investigation should be incorporated into the review;
• Does not include:
- consideration of the implications for the public investors in British Cycling;
- identification of any themes that should be considered more broadly when investing in and driving the development of the high performance system through World Class Programmes.
Both of these will be considered by UK Sport after the panel has provided its report findings and recommendations.
Specific questions/issues to be covered by the review:
• Are there fundamental behavioural issues within the climate and culture of British Cycling's World Class Programme?
• If so, what are they and what recommendations can be made on how they should be addressed?
Key findings and recommendations
The panel is to provide a report to British Cycling and UK Sport on its findings and recommendations arising from the review.
Key findings and recommendations will be published by both UK Sport and British Cycling (ensuring confidentiality for those who have provided information and contributed to the review).
If anyone has information they wish to provide confidentially to the review they can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport, said: “UK Sport expects the highest level of ethical and professional standards from its funded athletes, athlete support personnel and national governing bodies; winning is worth nothing if it is not done fairly, equitably and with the greatest integrity.
“The allegations made by current and former athletes about British Cycling’s World Class Programme over the past week have been deeply troubling to UK Sport, and any long term cultural issues within the programme must therefore be fully investigated.
“I’d like to thank Annamarie Phelps for agreeing to Chair this review and I look forward to working with her to learn the lessons here for the benefit of our entire high performance system.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to commend the British Cycling leadership for quickly recognising the severity of these allegations and establishing this joint review.”
British Cycling President, Bob Howden, said: “The allegations which have been made over the last few days about the culture of the Great Britain Cycling Team are extremely disturbing and British Cycling will now work with the independent review to establish the full facts.
“We treat these allegations very seriously, they will be fully investigated and we will not shy away from taking whatever action is necessary.
“Over the last 20 years, British Cycling has established itself as one of the UK’s leading sports and we are proud of what we have achieved as a governing body whether it is winning gold medals at the elite level of international competition or in driving record levels of grassroots participation.
“It is absolutely imperative for any national governing body to ensure it upholds the very best standards of practice. Whatever the outcome of this review, I’m sure that there will be valuable lessons to learn and things that we can improve on as we strive to further build on the many positive achievements of the past two decades.”
Annamarie Phelps, Chair of the Independent Review, said: “I fully understand the importance of leading this enquiry. I will do so to my best abilities and in the best interest of sport in the UK.”