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Former British Olympic cyclist arrested on suspicion of rape and indecent assault

General view of the Izu Velodrome before the track cycling test event ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Izu - Charly Triballeau/Getty Images
General view of the Izu Velodrome before the track cycling test event ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Izu - Charly Triballeau/Getty Images

A former British Olympic cyclist has been arrested on suspicion of rape and indecent assault.

The ex-rider also worked in professional cycling after retiring from elite competition and has worked with leading names in a sport that has become Britain’s most successful Olympic discipline.

Police said that a man had been bailed while an investigation into the allegations was ongoing.

After not winning a gold medal for 72 years, British cyclists have won 32 golds since 1992, peaking with a remarkable haul of eight golds at the 2012 London Olympics and 12 medals at each of the past three Games.

That success, however, has arrived amid accusations of bullying and a review in 2017 which concluded that British Cycling lacked good governance at board level and that a "culture of fear" existed.

British cycling’s success, which has extended beyond the Olympics into producing three British men’s Tour de France champions on the road, has followed the advent of National Lottery funding and a dramatic increase in the sport’s resources.

It has been a turbulent year, however, following the loss of title sponsor HSBC and then the departure of chief executive Brian Facer after a new partnership with Shell UK faced criticism from British Cycling members and environmental groups. The organisation’s policy with regard to transgender cyclists is also under review after women riders considered a protest at the planned inclusion in the national track championships of Emily Bridges, a transgender cyclist who had met the previous guidance on reducing her testosterone levels.

British Cycling is in the process of recruiting a permanent new chief executive.

A British Cycling spokesperson said that abuse of any kind had no place in sport. “We urge anybody with concerns about non-recent or current abuse to report them either directly to the British Cycling safeguarding team by emailing compliance@britishcycling.org.uk,” said a statement.