At least six other people are said to have backed the claims of a former British Cycling coach who has accused Sir Dave Brailsford of being responsible for a climate of “bullying” and “harassment” at the organisation. Ken Matheson made a series of claims via Twitter earlier this week with the BBC having since obtained the statement he made for UK Sport’s review into the culture at British Cycling.
Matheson, formerly the women’s elite coach and head of British Cycling’s para-cycling programme, told UK Sport he was subjected to "undermining, intimidating and threatening" behaviour, at the organisation – something which he described as a "frightening experience".
He describes a "macho, brutal and divisive" culture where fear was used as "a powerful management tool".
Matheson said he was bullied into leaving British Cycling and claims that a "considerable amount of money" has been spent on financial settlements for staff who have also been forced to leave.
According to the Daily Mail, at least six people — including world and Olympic champions – have expressed similar sentiments about Brailsford when speaking to UK Sport.
Among his claims, Matheson said that The World Class Performance Programme worked in a "bubble" with "little or no supervision" by British Cycling's management.
Six-time Paralympic gold medallist Darren Kenny – who earlier in the year said that his time with British Cycling was “one of the most unpleasant periods of my life” – seemingly agrees with that assessment.
“It’s difficult because I’ve always got along very well with Dave on a one-to-one basis. But we were quite far down the food chain. The higher you go up the food chain, a blind eye is turned as long as the results keep coming.
“Ultimately it’s his responsibility to know what is going on in his organisation and it always strikes me that he’d want to know everything that goes on. We were always a bit of an after-thought.”
Kenny did however say that the independent review panel had not contacted him to supply evidence.
Former national mountain bike champion Jenny Copnal said:
“My issues lay not with what language was used but more with the seeming blacklisting of individuals for speaking out.
“It was about the way the organisation was run. There’s an awful lot of people who never said anything because they felt they didn’t have enough to pin on anybody, but taken collectively these stories have themes and that’s alarming. I hope that’s what the independent review will pick up on.”
The news came as UK Anti- Doping Agency officials again visited British Cycling headquarters in Manchester in connection with their investigation into wrongdoing in cycling.
Investigators were given access to the Dr Richard Freeman’s medical suite. It was Freeman who was reported to have requested the package delivered to Team Sky at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné.