Top Bri­tish of­fi­cial Drake to step down in 2017

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Ian Drake, the man who has presided over a golden era for Bri­tish Cycling, will step down as chief ex­ec­u­tive in April, the gov­ern­ing body an­nounced yes­ter­day.

His de­ci­sion comes af­ter a dif­fi­cult year for the or­gan­i­sa­tion that saw tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Shane Sut­ton quit in April af­ter al­le­ga­tions of sex­ist and dis­crim­i­na­tory re­marks. Bri­tish Cycling has also been dragged into the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing Team Sky’s use of Ther­a­peu­tic Use Ex­emp­tions (TUEs), in­clud­ing for for­mer Tour de France win­ner Bradley Wig­gins. The or­gan­i­sa­tion also said this month it was “co­op­er­at­ing fully” with UK Anti-Dop­ing who were in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions of “wrong­do­ing within cycling”.

Drake, who has been in­volved with Bri­tish Cycling for 20 years, the last eight as chief ex­ec­u­tive, con­firmed that he will be leav­ing but not as a re­sult of the on­go­ing con­tro­ver­sies. “Some time ago I made the de­ci­sion that the Rio Games would be my last as CEO of Bri­tish Cycling,” Drake, who took charge in 2009, said in a state­ment.

“Now, fol­low­ing the suc­cess of our Olympic and Par­a­lympic teams at those Games, the launch of our in­no­va­tive new part­ner­ship with HSBC UK and York­shire’s suc­cess­ful bid to host the 2019 Road World Cham­pi­onships, I be­lieve that the end of this Olympic cy­cle is the nat­u­ral mo­ment for a new CEO to take the or­gan­i­sa­tion for­ward into the Tokyo Games and be­yond. “So it has been a dif­fi­cult year but my de­ci­sion to move on is com­pletely sep­a­rate to that (the al­le­ga­tions). It’s just the time is right,” he added.

The Bri­tish Cycling board will be­gin the search for a new chief ex­ec­u­tive.

“Ian has been a piv­otal fig­ure in it all,” How­den said in a state­ment on Bri­tish Cycling’s web­site (www.british­cy­cling.org.uk).

“It is also tes­ta­ment to his com­mit­ment to the or­gan­i­sa­tion that he has cho­sen to an­nounce this now so that we have time to con­duct a com­pre­hen­sive search for his suc­ces­sor.” There is no sug­ges­tion of any wrong­do­ing by Team Sky, Wig­gins or Bri­tish Cycling and they have re­ceived sup­port from UCI pres­i­dent Brian Cook­son.

But the furore, in­clud­ing a claim by for­mer Team Sky rider Jonathan Tier­nan-Locke that he was of­fered the con­tro­ver­sial painkiller Tra­madol when com­pet­ing at the road world cham­pi­onships four years ago, threat­ens to tar­nish the rep­u­ta­tion of Bri­tish Cycling.

Dur­ing Drake’s reign Bri­tain has grown into a cycling pow­er­house and am­a­teur par­tic­i­pa­tion has spiked mas­sively. Bri­tain has won 20 of the 30 gold medals up for grabs in cycling at the past three Olympics. Wig­gins be­came Bri­tain’s first Tour de France win­ner in 2012 and com­pa­triot Chris Froome has won it three times since. — Reuters

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