Ian Drake: British Cycling chief executive to leave his position in April

British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake

Drake has overseen a hugely successful period in British Cycling’s history, and a huge increase in the sport’s popularity

British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake will step down in April, BBC Sport understands.

The organisation is already searching for a replacement for performance director Shane Sutton, who left amid allegations of sexism, which he denies.

Drake, CEO since 2009, has been in charge during a hugely successful era.

His exit comes as British Cycling is under scrutiny from UK Anti-Doping (Ukad), which is investigating allegations of wrongdoing in the sport.

interview with BBC Sport published earlier on Thursday, former head of British Cycling Peter Keen said he feared the controversy could cause “collateral damage” to Team GB.

He said it would be an “absolute tragedy” if innocent riders were unfairly tainted, adding there were “lessons to be learned” for British Cycling and Team Sky.

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‘Tragedy if innocent riders are tainted’

The controversy over TUEs began after hackers allegedly from Russia released athletes’ medical files stolen from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

British Cycling’s independent review is yet to publish its findings into the allegations surrounding Australian Sutton, 59.

In April, the organisation was also ordered by UK Sport to investigate allegations official kit – including a high-performance bike – had been sold online for profit.

Britain’s golden period under Drake

During Drake’s time in charge, track cycling has overtaken rowing as the nation’s most successful Olympic sport.

Britain won 20 of the 30 gold medals available in the sport over the past three Games.

Cycling participation has also increased dramatically, with the sport now behind only swimming and athletics in terms of popularity.

Britain was recently awarded the 2019 Road World Championships, to be staged in Yorkshire – although Drake himself did not attend the announcement.

During Drake’s time in charge:

  • Dame Sarah Storey became Britain’s most decorated female Paralympian, with 14 gold medals
  • Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy became Britain’s most successful Olympians, with six gold medals apiece
  • Laura Trott became the first British woman to win four Olympic golds
  • Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win eight Olympic medals
  • Wiggins became the first British winner of the Tour de France, in 2012
  • Chris Froome subsequently won the race three times

Analysis

BBC sports editor Dan Roan

This is significant – this is the man at the very top of the sport. He has overseen a truly remarkable period for the sport in this country.

It comes right in the midst of what is, without any doubt, the biggest crisis the sport has suffered in this country.

If you think about what has happened under his watch, an awful lot has changed for the sport, not least the performance at the very top of the sport.

The track cyclists in particular have been the driving force for Britain becoming an Olympic powerhouse – cycling has become the most successful Olympic sport in this country.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/37723129

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