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Jason & Laura Kenny among GB podium riders

Jason and Laura Kenny

Jason and Laura Kenny have won 10 Olympic gold medals between them

Jason and Laura Kenny have both been named among 35 podium riders by British Cycling for the 2017-18 period.

Six-time Olympic gold medallist Jason Kenny, 29, revealed in September that he had reversed a decision to retire.

Laura Kenny, 25, who has won four Olympic gold medals, gave birth to the couple’s first child in August.

Annie Last, 27, returns to the mountain bike programme’s senior squad after wining a silver medal in the UCI World Championships in September.

British Cycling performance director Stephen Park said: “The announcement of the podium and senior squad riders consolidates our squad for the 2017-18 period and I’m pleased with the depth of talent we have across all the Olympic disciplines.

“It’s been inspiring to see Annie Last independently make history this past year, winning a silver medal at the world championships and becoming the first British woman to win a round of the World Cup.

“I look forward to welcoming Annie back on to the programme and the performance support team are primed to help her build on the excellent progress she’s already made by herself.

“Overall, I think we’re in a good position for this stage of the Olympic cycle – we have some very talented bike riders progressing well on the programme, and indeed significant talent across the country to keep them honest, so I look forward to seeing what this new season brings.”

Manon Lloyd, Mel Lowther, Emily Nelson, Jack Carlin and Joe Truman have graduated on to the podium programme over the course of the past year.

Former BMX world champion Liam Phillips, 28, announced his retirement from the sport on Wednesday after failing to recover from hand and wrist injuries sustained in a crash in February.

British Cycling’s Olympic podium programme is designed to support elite cyclists as they aim to win medals in major competitions.

Podium Programme Riders 2017-18

Men’s Endurance: Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Kian Emadi, Chris Latham, Mark Stewart, Andy Tennant, Oliver Wood.

Women’s Endurance: Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Neah Evans, Emily Kay, Laura Kenny, Manon Lloyd, Emily Nelson.

Men’s Road: Owain Doull, Chris Froome, Dan McLay, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Geraint Thomas, Scott Thwaites.

Women’s Road: Alice Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Lizzie Deignan, Mel Lowther, Dani Rowe.

Sprint: Vicky Barnes (nee Williamson), Jack Carlin, Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny, Katy Marchant, Ryan Owens, Callum Skinner, Joe Truman.

Senior Squad Riders 2017-18

BMX: Kyle Evans, Quillan Isidore, Paddy Sharrock, Kye Whyte, Tre Whyte.

MTB: Frazer Clacherty, Annie Last, Cameron Orr, Daniel Tulett, Evie Richards, Emily Wadsworth, Sophie Wright.

Senior Academy Riders 2017-18

Men’s Endurance: Matt Bostock, Rhys Britton, Adam Hartley, Ethan Hayter, Joe Holt, Joe Nally, Jake Stewart, Matt Walls, Fred Wright.

Women’s Endurance: Megan Barker, Rhona Callander, Abbie Dentus, Ellie Dickinson, Lauren Dolan, Jenny Holl, Becky Raybould, Jessica Roberts.

Sprint: Lauren Bate, Sophie Capewell, Georgia Hilleard, Alex Joliffe, Sylvia Misztal, Blaine Ridge-Davis, Lewis Stewart, Milly Tanner, Hamish Turnbull.

Junior Academy Riders 2017-18

Boys’ Endurance: Lewis Askey, Zach Bridges, Jim Brown, Charley Calvert, Alfie George, Max Rushby, Will Tidball, Ethan Vernon, Sam Watson.

Girls’ Endurance: Georgia Ashworth, Elynor Backstedt, Ella Barnwell, Anna Docherty, Pfeiffer Georgi, Ellie Russell, Amelia Sharpe, Ellie Smith.

Boys’ Sprint: James Bunting, Dan Cooper, Ali Fielding, Caleb Hill, Arthur Taggart.

Girls’ Sprint: Lauren Bell, Aleshia Mellor, Lucy Naylor.

Junior Squad Riders 2017-18

Boys’ BMX: Ross Cullen, Tian Isidore, Chad Hartwell, Ryan Martin.

Girls’ BMX: Lauren Anyon, Elissa Bradford, Ellie Featherstone, Imogen Hill, Eleana Stafford.

Boys’ MTB: Charlie Alridge, Harry Birchall, Sean Flynn.

Girls’ MTB: Anna Flynn, Harriet Harnden, Anna McGorum, Maddie Wadsworth

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Liam Phillips: Former BMX world champion retires from the sport

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Archive: Liam Phillips wins BMX world title in 2013

Britain’s former BMX world champion Liam Phillips has retired from the sport after failing to recover from “career ending” injuries.

The 28-year-old injured his hand and wrist in a crash in February.

Phillips became world champion in 2013, was a three-time Olympian, crashing out in London and Rio, and won 10 gold medals at the BMX Supercross World Cup.

“I can honestly say that I achieved more throughout my career than I ever thought possible,” he said.

Phillips broke his collarbone 12 weeks before London 2012 and then again eight weeks before Rio 2016.

He said: “Becoming world champion and wearing the rainbow jersey was the proudest 12 months of my career.

“Winning a home World Cup four years on the bounce and striving to be the best in the world on a daily basis are memories that I’ll always cherish.”

Phillips added that he wanted to continue working in the sport, saying: “I would like to help athletes who have talent but need some guidance to help plan, prepare and shape their programmes.

“If I’m no longer able to compete myself, it feels right for me to assist others in their quest to achieve their goals.”

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‘I was loved by British Cycling staff’ – ex

Shane Sutton (right) with Sir Chris Hoy

Shane Sutton was part of the coaching set up at British Cycling which saw Sir Chris Hoy become one of Great Britain’s most successful Olympians

Former British Cycling coach Shane Sutton says he is still “loved by the staff” at the organisation.

The Australian left his technical director role in April 2016 following bullying and discrimination allegations, and an inquiry found he operated within a “culture of fear”.

He is back at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester as head coach of China for the Track Cycling World Cup

“The reception’s been a bit overwhelming,” he told BBC Sport.

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“That’s been a bit tough to take because it brings all the memories back,” added the 60-year-old, who spent 14 years with British Cycling and took on his new role just last month.

“People criticise me from a distance but when you get down here into the nitty gritty of the day to day I was pretty much loved by the staff, I’ve treated them well and that’s shown in the reception I’ve had.

“It’s nice to hear them saying you’re being missed.”

Sutton was cleared of eight of nine allegations in an internal investigation following the initial complaints from cyclist Jess Varnish.

But a complaint that he used sexist language towards her – that he used the word “bitches” – was upheld.

Varnish is now suing British Cycling and UK Sport.

A later independent inquiry led by British Rowing chair Annamarie Phelps found there were cultural failings at British Cycling and was also critical of Sutton.

A key finding was that many staff feared possible retribution or even losing their jobs for speaking out.

British Cycling, which has implemented a 39-point action plan relating to cultural and ethical standards in its world class programme, has apologised for its failings and earlier this month chairman Jonathan Browning announced he was standing down.

But, on Saturday, Sutton was critical of the outcome of the reports and said: “That’s just people probably trying to build their own empire.

“Until you’re in the pit and know what’s going on I don’t really think you can make decisions that they’ve made.

“The review process is not what many perceive here.

“And the reception I’ve had here shows that.”

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‘Overwhelming reception’ for Sutton on return

Former performance director Sir Dave Brailsford – now Team Sky boss – worked alongside Sutton and was forced to defend himself over the claims he had been part of “dysfunctional” system at British Cycling.

Brailsford joined the body in 2003 – a year after Sutton – leading them to two cycling gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games, and eight in both 2008 and 2012.

“One of the great leaders of world sport, and he comes in for criticism – and it’s totally unjustified,” said Sutton.

And when asked about the “bitches” comment that ultimately saw him leave British Cycling, Sutton said: “People don’t know the circumstances where I used that comment.

“It was used as a general comment – a couple of people playing up on the day. That’s not actually going up to an athlete and saying you are a ‘whatever’. That wasn’t the case. I think people need to know that.

“At the end of the day I can sleep of a night. I’ve got no problem with it all.”

However, he appeared critical over Varnish’s decision to take legal action against the organisation.

Varnish was dropped from British Cycling’s elite roster last year and when asked about legal action being taken Sutton said: “I think it’s just someone trying to keep a profile.

“There’s a very small athletic profile there so if you can get yourself in the media: fantastic.

“But for me it’s all done and dusted and I just wish British Cycling all the best going forward, because the majority of them don’t forget I brought them here.”

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UK Sport chief Grainger disappointed by Sutton comments

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Dame Katherine Grainger tells Dan Roan she knew ‘very few people who had TUEs’ when she was rowing

UK Sport chair Dame Katherine Grainger is “surprised and disappointed” after former Team Sky and British Cycling coach Shane Sutton said riders legally used banned drugs to “find the gains”.

Sutton told a BBC Two documentary on Sunday that he and his riders “never crossed the line” in their use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs).

Grainger, an Olympic gold medal-winning rower, said: “I don’t know any athlete who would want to go near TUEs for any reason other than if it was necessary from a medical point of view.

In Cycling’s Superheroes; The Price of Success, Sutton was asked in which circumstances he would have applied for a TUE to get permission for a rider to use a prohibited drug on medical grounds.

“If you’ve got an athlete that’s 95% ready, and that little 5% injury or niggle that’s troubling, if you can get that TUE to get them to 100%, yeah of course you would in those days,” he said.

“The business you’re in is to give you the edge on your opponent… and ultimately at the end of the day it’s about killing them off.

“But definitely don’t cross the line and that’s something we’ve never done.”

Sutton was also asked whether “finding the gains might mean getting a TUE”.

He replied: “Finding the gains might be getting a TUE? Yes, because the rules allow you to do that.”

Grainger, a five-time Olympian who won gold at London 2012, said those comments were “disappointing”.

“When I was an athlete, I knew very few people that got TUEs and, as far as I was aware, it was very hard to get it,” she said.

“There are very strong reasons why a TUE might be needed from a purely medical point of view and that’s why they exist. Anything short of that goes in to grey areas and brings in risks to reputation.”

Asked if using TUEs for athletes at 5% below their best was acceptable, she said: “It’s definitely not in the spirit of it. They came in for a clear medical purpose.”

Sutton’s comments came amid continued controversy over the three TUEs granted to Briton Sir Bradley Wiggins before major races in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Wiggins’ use of the corticosteroid triamcinolone to treat asthma and allergies was revealed when hackers released medical files stolen from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) last year.

The 2012 Tour de France winner’s TUEs were approved by the authorities and cycling’s world governing body the UCI, and there is no suggestion he or Team Sky broke any rules. Both have strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

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