Cycling: 'Integrity breach' at Tokyo Olympics leads to resignation of high-profile Cycling NZ official

  • 26/11/2021

Cycling NZ's high performance director Martin Barras has stood down, after revelations of an integrity breach at the Tokyo Olympics in July.

An independent investigation conducted by the New Zealand Olympic Committee has concluded the process to replace an athlete during a cycling event at Tokyo 2020 had not been conducted according to the rules of the International Olympic Committee and the UCI, cycling's global governing body.

That investigation, conducted by Don Mackinnon, confirmed a breach of both the NZOC and Cycling NZ codes of conduct, resulting in Barras' resignation.

Cycling NZ chief executive Jacques Landry says he'd been made aware of a potential breach when the team returned from the Games, leading to the commissioning of the investigation in September.

While Landry insists Barras - who joined the organisation in 2017 - was not directly involved in the breach, he was ultimately responsible for the conduct of the team at the Games.

"[Barras] has therefore tendered his resignation, which I have accepted," says Landry.

Amy Taylor has been appointed interim high peformance director until a permanent replacement is found.

Cycling NZ won't reveal details of which riders were involved in the the breach but confirms it is not related to any of the medal-winning performances.

Ellesse Andrews took silver in the women's keirin and Campbell Stewart took silver in the men's omnium, after replacing the injured Aaron Gates.

The incident is the latest in a series of ongoing problems for the embattled national sporting body.

In 2018, the Heron report unveiled issues with bullying and a "lack of accountability", which led to the resignation of chief executive Andrew Matheson.

It is also currently review over the death of track rider Olivia Podmore in August.

On Monday, Landry announced he'd step down from his role as chief executive once the findings of that review have been released in February.

"Cycling New Zealand was extremely disappointed to learn of this incident," he adds.

"The Code of Conduct has  been made patently clear to everyone, especially since it was strengthened after 2018."

The sporting body is providing support to the athletes involved because the incident is being made public.