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British Cycling overhauls medical procedures after independent review

Board has "immediately accepted" key recommendations made by Dr Rod Jaques...

British Cycling has outlined a number of reforms of its medical procedures in the wake of an independent review announced in April, including introducing a new role of Head of Medicine.

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The review was carried out by Dr Rod Jaques, Director of Medical Services at the English Institute of Sport and come after stinging criticism of the procedures at the national governing body (NGB), including its record keeping, by a House of Commons Select Committee investigating doping in sport.

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Its findings come ahead of the publication, expected next week, of the UK Sport-commissioned independent review of British Cycling ordered following allegations of bullying and discrimination on the world class performance programme.

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Dr Jaques’ brief was “to assess current practices and compliance with professional standards across the medical and physiotherapy team,” and “to make recommendations to enhance the team’s governance, structures and performance management.”

Besides recommending that British Cycling create the new role of Head of Medicine, reporting to its Performance Director, he also said that a new Rider Health function should be set up within the medical team and that a Clinical Governance Committee, reporting to the governing body’s board, should be established.

British Cycling said that its board had “immediately accepted his key recommendations which will now be implemented.”

As a result, the medical team will be split into two sections – Rider Health, and Medical Services.

The Rider Health section will be concerned with optimising bike ergonomics, and will run research on injury and illness reduction and mental health risk mitigation, and educate riders on anti-doping and lifestyle issues.

Meanwhile, the Medical Services section will focus on riders’ medical care, as well as medicines management and record keeping under “a newly introduced professional code of conduct in place to guide behaviour and clarify expectations.”

Dr Jaques said: “I found members I met with from the British Cycling Medical Team to be competent professionals, working to the best of their abilities within their current structures.

“To ensure that athletes are served in ways that best support performance and allow professionals to develop, the review outlines reforms that will bolster both areas and ensure that British Cycling makes changes to ensure the highest standards of professionalism and care.

“I am delighted that my recommendations have been immediately accepted,” he added.

British Cycling Performance Director Stephen Park, who took up his role earlier this year, said: “Dr. Jaques’ recommendations are timely and sensible.

“I am confident that through their introduction, the standards and practices adopted will enhance athlete care and performance.”   

The governing body’s Chair, Jonathan Browning, commented: “The creation of the Clinical Governance Committee underlines the importance of having the right people, structures and processes in place so that British Cycling can provide our athletes with best in class medical services.

“The speed with which we are introducing changes across the organisation is testament to our determination to look to the future and make British Cycling an NGB that is revered around the world as we serve the sport of cycling,” he added.

Simon joined 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.

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