A former coach at British Cycling has said accused Sir Dave Brailsford of being responsible for a climate of “bullying” and “harassment” at British Cycling, where the Team Sky principal worked until 2014.
Ken Matheson made the claims in a series of messages on Twitter last night in which he said he had given evidence to the UK Sport independent review (IR) into the culture at the governing body.
That review was ordered after allegations of bullying and discrimination were levelled against former Great Britain Cycling Team technical director Shane Sutton by riders including track sprinter Jess Varnish and former Paralympic champion, Darren Kenny.
> British Cycling funding could be withdrawn due to governance issues
Matheson, a former women’s elite coach and head of the para-cycling programme at British Cycling who worked alongside former performance director Peter Keen, left the organisation in 2003 but has continued to work within the sport.
Aged 72 and now semi-retired, his clients include Hugh Carthy, the 22-year-old British rider who has signed for Cannondale-Drapac for 2017. Matheson coached the team's sports director, Charly Wegelius, early in his riding career.
Referring to a non-disclosure clause in his former contract with British Cycling, Matheson said last night in a reply to a tweet from South Africa-based sports scientist Ross Tucker: “Well I'm talking now – and sod the gagging clause!”
He confirmed that he had testified to the independent review, in a message that referred to Brailsford, who joined British Cycling in 1997 and was promoted from programmes director to performance director in 2003, by his initials.
Matheson said he had given a “Long statement going back 18yrs re. DB's lies, bullying, harassment, wrongful dismissal of staff, financial misconduct etc to UK Sport Independent Review.”
He added that British Cycling CEOs (without saying which specifically) were “well aware of DB's behaviour but failed to deal with it.”
Nick Harris of the website Sporting Intelligence said to Matheson: “Be fascinated to know more; know of multiple contributors to IR saying similar. Intrigued if report will reflect it.
Matheson replied: “My thoughts too. In isolation we're weak; come together and the truth should out. I'm tired of cover ups.”
The UK Sport independent review had been due to report in October, but is now thought likely to report early in the New Year with Harris saying he had been told that it “went longer than expected as more submissions than expected.”
Matheson’s comments come in a week which began with Brailsford being grilled by MPs over issues including the use of therapeutic use exemptions and the contents of a medicinal package delivered to the team at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine.
Brailsford’s appearance before the House of Commons Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee formed part of its wider investigation into doping in sport.
> Man who delivered Team Sky package could be questioned by MPs – while doubts surround aspects of Sir Dave Brailsford’s evidence
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