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Ian Drake to leave position as British Cycling chief executive

Ian Drake to leave position as British Cycling chief executive
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Ian Drake joined British Cycling 21 years ago

British Cycling have confirmed that Ian Drake is to step down as chief executive.

Drake, who has been in the post for seven years, will leave in April next year.

His departure means British Cycling are now looking for both a chief executive and a performance director to replace Shane Sutton, who left earlier this year amid accusations of sexism and discriminatory behaviour towards riders.

The Sutton scandal was followed by the launching of a UK Anti-Doping investigation earlier this month into “allegations of wrongdoing”, while questions have been raised over the relationship between the governing body and Team Sky.

Sources close to Drake say his departure is unconnected to the investigation or questions of governance.

British Cycling are already looking for a replacement for Shane Sutton

In a statement, Drake said: “Some time ago I made the decision that the Rio Games would be my last as CEO of British Cycling.

“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.”

Drake has kept a low profile as chief executive, despite overseeing a period of sustained success that has seen elite cyclists set records on the track and the road, while grassroots participation has boomed.

The Rio Olympics were another triumph for the track team, with athletes like Jason and Laura Kenny helping to justify British Cycling’s position as one of the biggest recipients of elite government funding.

Last month British Cycling announced an eight-year sponsorship deal with HSBC to succeed Sky as principal partner, and last week Yorkshire won the right to host the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.

But the success has been accompanied by controversies that have raised difficult issues for the governing body and Team Sky.

Earlier this year a series of allegations against Sutton led to his departure, and two reviews, on internal, one independent, are expected to be published before Christmas.

The controversy intensified last month with the leak of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) granted to Sir Bradley Wiggins that allowed him to use an otherwise-banned corticosteroid while riding for Team Sky.

British Cycling are now looking for both a new CEO and performance director

It intensified with the disclosure that a British Cycling employee, Simon Cope, transported a medical package to Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman at the final stage of a race won by Wiggins before the 2011 Tour de France.

British Cycling and Team Sky say that Cope’s role was part of an arrangement by which some members of governing body staff also worked for Team Sky.

There is no suggestion that British Cycling, Team Sky or Wiggins have broken any rules.

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