11th January 2018

UK Sport considers funding cuts for NGBs who lack independence in investigations

UK Sport is considering an option for it to refuse funding to National Governing Bodies (NGBs) who do not have the required level of independence in investigations, disciplinary panels and appeals in circumstances such as bullying and serious misconduct allegations. UK Sport said that a consultation with NGBs on the proposals would be launched this month, in evidence submitted to the UK Parliament’s Sport Governance inquiry (PDF below).

UK Sport would work with SRUK [Sports Resolutions UK] to ensure that there is a not-for-profit specialist provider of these services for sport’, reads the submission. ‘These proposals on greater independence will go out to consultation with NGBs in January’.

“UK Sport have committed to launching the consultation in the New Year”, confirmed a UK Sport spokesperson. “There is no firm date, but this is likely to be at the end of the month or early next month. Depending on the outcome of the consultation, it is likely that the proposal will be part of the UK Sport funding agreement moving forwards.”

In 2016, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) reduced a sanction imposed on Jim Best for ordering jockey Paul John to stop two horses, after Best’s legal team successfully argued that Solicitor Matthew Lohn had previously undertaken paid work for the BHA, so could not be considered to be impartial. The initial four year sanction was reduced to six months.

In April this year, Jess Varnish’s case against British Cycling and UK Sport will be heard at an employment tribunal, after British Cycling rejected eight of nine allegations of sexism against its former Technical Director, Shane Sutton. There were allegations that a June 2017 final report into her case was toned down, which appears to be supported by a draft report, leaked in March. The final report was published by British Cycling and UK Sport at a cost of £90,000.

UK Sport said that the consultation is not a result of concerns about conflicts of interest raised in either the Best or Varnish cases. “The consultation has been put in place by the UK Sport Head of Sport Integrity as part of what is best practice for the High Performance System”, continued the spokesperson.

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