Sport England warning to British Cycling over funding decision

Manchester Velodrome

British Cycling has found itself under scrutiny in recent times

British Cycling has been warned it needs to do more to ease “concerns” over the way it is run before it can receive £17m of funding.

Sport England, which funds grassroots sport, said it wanted cycling’s governing body to “meet the highest standards of governance” first.

Earlier this month, British Cycling chairman Jonathan Browning apologised for “failings” at the organisation.

That followed accusations of bullying and sexism against elite cyclists.

An investigation into those alleged failings in the culture of British Cycling has been carried out and a report into the findings is due imminently – though a draft version of the report was leaked last week.

“The current draft report raises concerns about decision-making within that governing body,” said Nick Bitel, Sport England’s chair.

British Cycling says it has started work on an action plan to address problems in the organisation.

But, following a meeting of the Sport England board on Tuesday, Bitel added: “We decided that more work on their action plan was required.”

Sport governing bodies must comply with a Code for Sports Governance before they can access funding. The £17m that British Cycling is scheduled to receive is intended for grassroots sport.

“We need to ensure that all sports organisations that receive public funding meet the highest standards of governance,” said Bitel.

“We will need to consider the final report of the Cycling Independent Review, and a more developed version of British Cycling’s action plan on governance, before our board makes a decision about any additional requirements we might put in place,” he added.

“We anticipate this position being reached within the next month.”


Dan Roan, BBC sports editor

British Cycling has been warned. A recent leaked draft of a major report into the sport’s high-performance culture questioned whether its board was “fit to govern a national sporting body”.

That seems to have made an impression on Sport England, and unless it soon sees more extensive reforms, it may demand that British Cycling’s new chairman Jonathan Browning is replaced. That £17m of funding is on the line.

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