MANCHESTER, England — The chief executive of British Cycling is stepping down, adding to the upheaval in the country’s most successful Olympic sport.
Ian Drake said in a statement released Friday by British Cycling that he will leave in April after seven years in the position.
The announcement comes at the end of a tough year off the track for British Cycling, with Shane Sutton having left his role as the national body’s technical director in April – 100 days before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics – following discrimination allegations.
British Cycling’s headquarters were visited by UK Anti-Doping officials this month as part of an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing in the sport.
On the track, Britain won six gold medals in Rio.
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) Three-time world road race champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia has confirmed he will compete in the Tour Down Under in January, the opening World Tour event of the season.
Sagan won the world title last month for the third straight year, becoming the first cyclist to do so. He competed in the Tour Down Under for the first time last year, finishing second on three stages behind Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan.
Sagan, who rides for the BORA-hansgrohe team, said the six-stage Tour Down Under is “the perfect start to the UCI World Tour season each year … a challenging and tough course, warm weather and the passionate fans that cheer for us day in day out no matter what.”
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) Former Olympic road cycling champion Samuel Sanchez, who returned a positive doping test in August, had his B-sample confirmed Wednesday and was promptly fired by the BMC Racing Team.
Sanchez’s out-of-competition test revealed growth hormone-releasing peptide 2, or GHRP-2, a drug that increases a body’s level of growth hormone. Several cyclists have tested positive for the drug, among them Italian rider Stefano Pirazzi, who was given a four-year ban earlier this week.
The U.S.-based BMC Team said in a statement Wednesday that it was adhering to its zero-tolerance policy toward doping by terminating the Spaniard’s contract “with immediate effect.”
The 39-year-old Sanchez, who had been provisionally suspended, won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.