British Cycling has sacked one of its top coaches after finding him guilty of “gross misconduct” involving “inappropriate relationships” with riders.
Kevin Stewart, the head coach of the British men's sprint team, had been given repeated warnings about his behaviour, British Cycling said in a statement.
“While this has been uncomfortable for everybody concerned, it demonstrates the robustness of the processes we have in place when concerns are raised,” Stephen Park, Performance Director for British Cycling, said on Wednesday.
“The Great Britain Cycling Team has a clear set of expected behaviours and values and we must hold ourselves and each other to account when we do not meet the standards of behaviour we set as a team.”
Stewart, who is married to Irish international track cyclist Robyn Stewart, has worked with the likes of six-time Olympic track champion Jason Kenny.
He had been promoted from the team’s academy in April of 2019 in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.
Kevin Stewart sacked over ‘gross misconduct’
Outlining the reasons for Stewart's dismissal, British Cycling said he had also inappropriately used electronic communication and had failed to follow specific direction of the Performance Director in regard to relationships with riders and professional boundaries.
Stewart is said to have engaged in a “long-term pattern of inappropriate relationships with riders.”
The statement stressed that there was no evidence of a physical relationship between Stewart and any riders.
Stewart issued an apology for his actions.
“I wholeheartedly apologise to the team for my actions, which I acknowledge were not acceptable,” said Stewart, who has been with the organisation seven years during which time Britain has enjoyed great success on the track.
“I realised my actions had made my position on the team untenable and had handed in my resignation before being dismissed while on my notice period.”
Stewart’s sacking comes just one day after British Cycling announced the appointment of Brian Facer as its new chief executive, the former London Irish rugby boss who is replacing Julie Harrington in January.
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