Cycling NZ boss quits following 'integrity breach' at Tokyo Olympics

Martin Barras, left, High Performance Director New Zealand Cycling talks with cycling support...
Martin Barras, left, High Performance Director New Zealand Cycling talks with cycling support staff at the Anna Meares Velodrome in 2018. Photo: NZ Herald
Cycling New Zealand's high performance director has resigned after an "integrity breach" at the Tokyo Olympics was revealed.

An independent investigation into Cycling New Zealand's handling of athlete selection for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics uncovered a breach of Olympic and international cycling regulations.

Following concerns communicated to the NZOC in September 2021 by Cycling NZ, barrister and highly experienced sports director Don Mackinnon was appointed to investigate and report on a possible breach of integrity.

The investigation revealed the process to replace an athlete during a cycling event at Tokyo 2020 had not been conducted according to IOC and UCI rules.

As such, it was also a breach of both NZOC agreements and IOC rules of conduct and participation at the Olympic Games.

Cycling New Zealand Chief Executive Jacques Landry said in a statement that the investigation's findings have led to the immediate resignation of High Performance Director Martin Barras.

"Cycling New Zealand has taken swift action following a breach of its Code of Conduct at the Tokyo Olympics," Landry said.

"After the Games team returned, I became aware of a possible integrity breach that had occurred during one of the cycling events.

"I immediately carried out a preliminary investigation. That led me to alert the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) which has jurisdiction over the New Zealand Team at Olympic Games. They then undertook an independent investigation which found that both its and Cycling New Zealand's Codes of Conduct had been breached," he said.

"As I result, I initiated discussions with the High Performance Director Mr Martin Barras."

While Landry said Barras was not directly involved in the incident, as Director he was ultimately responsible for the conduct of the New Zealand Cycling Team at the Olympic Games.

"He has therefore tendered his resignation, which I have accepted."

Mr Landry said that his organisation is providing support to the athletes involved because this incident is being made public.

"Out of respect for the participants who took part in the investigation under conditions of confidentiality, no-one at Cycling New Zealand is able to make any further comment on the matter."

 

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