Cycling New Zealand, High Performance Sport New Zealand commission independent inquiry after Oliva Podmore death

An independent inquiry has been commissioned into both Cycling New Zealand and High Performance Sport New Zealand, following the death of Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore.

Podmore died earlier this month after a troubling social media post that was later deleted. She was 24 years old.

In conjunction, Cycling NZ and HPSNZ have commissioned the review, in particular focussing on the implementation of the recommendations of the findings from the Heron Review in 2018.

"Olivia's death has focussed our attention once more on the complex issues surrounding athlete welfare and wellbeing, issues that the system has grappled with across a number of years," HPSNZ chief executive Raelene Castle says.

"Our priority is to ensure we understand what has happened and what more can be done.

"A joint inquiry is the right thing to do to ensure we take a system view of the issue and are sensitive to all parties affected by this tragedy."

In the wake of Podmore's death, several voices have spoken out about the need for change within the high performance sporting environment in New Zealand. 

Former Olympic skeleton racer Ben Sandford told Newshub "athletes have nowhere to go, they have no say, they can't affect change, they can't get representation in the system. 

The independent inquirer will be appointed shortly, Cycling NZ and HPSNZ say, as well as the confirmation of the scale and framework of the inquiry itself.

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