British Canoeing suspends member of coaching staff following complaint

Published: Friday 31st March 2017 by The News Editor

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British Canoeing has suspended a member of its coaching staff following a formal complaint.

An investigation was launched in December after the complaint was issued and is yet to be concluded.

British Canoeing won a record two golds and two silvers at the Rio Olympic Games last summer and picked up another five medals at Paralympics, with three golds and two bronzes.

“British Canoeing can confirm that, in response to a formal complaint in December 2016, a member of our performance team has been suspended,” a British Canoeing Spokesperson said.

“As a result, a full and independent investigation was immediately initiated. British Canoeing will not be making any further comment until this process has been concluded.”

Joe Clarke and Liam Heath both won gold medals last summer as British Canoeing enjoyed its most successful Olympic Games.

But the latest revelations come with UK Sport’s approach under scrutiny after allegations of bullying and discrimination across several disciplines, including cycling and swimming.

British Cycling is the subject of an independent investigation over claims of a bullying culture, with sprinter Jess Varnish having accused former technical director Shane Sutton of using sexist language towards her.

A draft version of the independent panel’s report was leaked to the Daily Mail and was scathing in its criticism of British Cycling’s own handling of Varnish’s allegations.

Earlier this week, Joanna Rowsell-Shand, who won team pursuit gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics but has now retired from the sport, said in an interview with The Times that British Cycling was a tough environment but never personally experienced anything which could be described as bullying or discrimination.

British Swimming is another embroiled in a bullying controversy after it recently confirmed a BBC report that it has set up an internal investigation into claims from several para-swimmers.

The complainants are understood to include several medallists from Rio 2016, where para-swimming was ParalympicsGB’s most successful sport, winning 47 medals, including 16 golds.

The accusations have come as a major blow to British sport following the nation’s record-breaking showing at Rio 2016, where the team finished second in the medal table at both the Olympics and Paralympics.

Published: Friday 31st March 2017 by The News Editor

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