British Cycling CEO Ian Drake is stepping down from his role at the helm of the governing body, it has been confirmed this morning.
Drake took up his post in 2009 and will be leaving in April next year.
His departure comes after a difficult few months for the organisation, despite the dominant performances of the country's cyclists at the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.
An inquiry ordered by UK Sport into the culture at British Cycling in the wake of allegations of bullying and discrimination against former technical director Shane Sutton, who resigned in April, is due to report shortly.
This month, UK Anti-Doping launched an investigation — at the request of Team Sky and British Cycling — into the circumstances surrounding the delivery of a package containing an unidentified medicine delivered to Sky at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine.
Drake insisted however that his departure had been planned ell ahead of the summer, saying in a statement: "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.
“I have been involved with British Cycling in some form for almost 20 years, the last eight as CEO, and it is an organisation that I will always love. I have been privileged to be a part of the amazing success we have experienced over those two decades and I know that it will go on to even greater heights in the years to come.
“All organisations, particularly those operating at the highest level of sport, periodically require new leadership to take them to greater heights and tackle their new challenges – now is the right moment for both myself and British Cycling to move on.”
Despite the difficulties of 2016, Drake's tenure has coincided with a period of unprecedented growth for British Cycling as well as sporting sucess.
Membership has risen more than fivefold from 25,000 to 129,000, while British riders dominated the Olympic and Paralympic Games at London 2012 and in Rio this year, and have also won more than 100 world titles in the past seven years.
British Cycling President Bob Howden said: “I want to put on record my personal thanks to Ian for all he has done for British Cycling during a period of unprecedented success and growth at all levels - from the remarkable achievements at recent Olympic and Paralympic Games, to the extraordinary growth in participation, Ian has been a pivotal figure in it all.
“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.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.