Sean Ingle

Author's details

Name: Sean Ingle
Date registered: October 2, 2014

Latest posts

  1. Tennis must not allow Ilie Nastase to volley away his latest indiscretions | Sean Ingle — April 23, 2017
  2. Overseas managers can make 14-point difference to Premier League season | Sean Ingle — April 2, 2017
  3. Lizzie Armitstead becomes latest rider to accuse British Cycling of sexism — March 31, 2017
  4. Ed Warner wants to call time on UK Sport’s ‘win at all costs’ approach — March 30, 2017
  5. Cricket may feature at 2024 Olympic Games, says ICC chief executive — March 30, 2017

Author's posts listings

Apr 23

Tennis must not allow Ilie Nastase to volley away his latest indiscretions | Sean Ingle

The Romanian has a long history of behaving badly and the game’s authorities have done it a disservice by not challenging him with sufficient force

To one eyewitness, Ilie Nastase behaved in a “vile, disgusting and deplorable manner to every member of the British team”. Another talked of “very base and vulgar language” with “gross finger gestures” to the crowd. Some even wondered whether the match between Romania and Great Britain should be called off. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Two days ago familiar, perhaps? Only these comments weren’t about this weekend’s Federation Cup tie – but came from the British team following a Davis Cup match against Nastase’s Romania in 1978.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that Nastase called Johanna Konta“a fucking bitch”, made offensive remarks about Serena Williams’ unborn child, or leched over the British team captain, Anne Keothavong, before asking for her room number. Sneering, leering, loud, louche: such adjectives should define Nastase as much as those used to describe his remarkable shot-making on court.

Related: Ilie Nastase must be evicted from tennis for his behaviour at Fed Cup | Kevin Mitchell

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Apr 02

Overseas managers can make 14-point difference to Premier League season | Sean Ingle

New research puts managers from elsewhere ahead of their British and Irish counterparts by 1.66 points to 1.29 per game in the top flight

“What does he know about the Premier League?” Two decades on from Arsène Wenger’s arrival from Japan it remains a sneer posed as a question whenever an unknown overseas manager comes to England. Paul Merson and Phil Thompson’s visceral reaction to Marco Silva becoming Hull City manager in January was hardly unique.

Lawrie McMenemy had the same response when Mauricio Pochettino took over at Southampton. It barely matters that under Silva’s watch Hull have a fighting chance of staying up or that Pochettino rapidly proved himself far superior to the man he replaced, Nigel Adkins. Many in English football cling to the notion that British is instinctively a safer option.

Related: Hats off to Brendan Rodgers, who has taken Celtic to another level | Ewan Murray

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Mar 31

Lizzie Armitstead becomes latest rider to accuse British Cycling of sexism

• ‘They let me down’ she adds following on from Jess Varnish allegations
• Armitstead claims she was made to dance with male from pro team at party

Lizzie Armitstead, the 2015 world road race champion, has become the latest British rider to open up about her experiences of sexism in cycling – which included being “left with no choice” but to dance with a male team-mate for his birthday after being woken up at 11.30pm by a senior manager at a professional team.

The 28-year-old has also told the Guardian that on the day she became world champion in Richmond, Virginia, the British Cycling team manager, Brian Stephens, who had been appointed her coach, was not even there because he had prioritised the men’s junior team.

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Mar 30

Ed Warner wants to call time on UK Sport’s ‘win at all costs’ approach

• Athletics chief says medal obsession is ‘unhealthy’
• He wants funding reprieve for badminton and wheelchair rugby

Ed Warner, the UK Athletics chairman, has called for the end of UK Sport’s “no compromise” approach, saying that “it has had its time” and that the relentless pursuit of Olympic medals should be replaced by a more nuanced policy, in which sports such as basketball are also funded for the positive impact they have on society.

Warner suggested that a “fundamental review” into elite funding was also needed following the bullying allegations and governance problems that have engulfed British Cycling, as well as the unpopular decision to strip all money from badminton and wheelchair rugby.

Related: Email throws fresh light on British Cycling’s burying of bullying

Related: Team GB cycling head coach hits back at rivals questioning Olympic success

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Mar 30

Cricket may feature at 2024 Olympic Games, says ICC chief executive

• David Richardson confirms majority of members back applying for inclusion
• Cricket last featured at 1900 Paris Games, with only Great Britain and France

The prospect of cricket appearing at the Olympics for the first time in 124 years inched a step closer on Thursday when the International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson confirmed that the majority of his members back applying to the International Olympic Committee for the sport to be included in the 2024 Games.

Related: Olympic Games and cricket are a difficult match to make | Mike Selvey

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Mar 27

‘Mystery package’ doctor admits Team Sky had no medicines policy

• Dr Richard Freeman gives written evidence to select committee
• Damian Collins MP says it leaves ‘major questions’ for Sky and British Cycling

The doctor at the centre of the affair of the mystery package delivered to Sir Bradley Wiggins during the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2011 has made the astonishing admission that neither Team Sky nor British Cycling had any written medicines-management policy or stock-taking system at the time.

In a letter to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee Dr Richard Freeman also expressed “regret” that there had been no backed-up medical records of Wiggins’ treatment in 2011 – but denied there had been any unethical behaviour by either Team Sky or British Cycling. However, Damian Collins, the chair of the DCMS select committee, said that Freeman’s written evidence had left “major questions outstanding for Team Sky and British Cycling”.

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Mar 26

Tony Yeboah’s bonus scheme lacked the flexibility to succeed | Sean Ingle

Leading sports lawyer Ian Lynam believes rewarding players based on a team’s performance – rather than individually – is a sensible model for clubs

It was a classic local newspaper story from the mid-90s, joyfully regurgitated for the social media generation. “I’ve had enough Yorkshire puds, says United star Yeboah” ran the clipping from a 1996 copy of the Yorkshire Evening Post which did the rounds on Twitter last week, along with the story of how the Leeds striker’s unique bonus – two puddings per goal, plus one for each for his team-mates – had ended because “the Ghanaian hotshot’s goal-grabbing exploits have earned him so many puds he had to say ‘no more thanks’.”

I thought of that heartwarming tale while listening to the sports lawyer Ian Lynam, who has spent more than a decade acting for players and clubs on transfer deals and contracts, make a fascinating admission: that despite all the money that has flooded into the Premier League since then, most teams are getting their pay and bonus cultures wrong.

Related: Premier League clubs make record £3.4bn with help from FFP regulations

Related: Leicester City’s Premier League title brings in record £129m income

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Mar 24

Email throws fresh light on British Cycling’s burying of bullying

• Bullying was one of key findings of an internal review in 2012
• Correspondence with UK Sport made no mention of problem

The extent to which British Cycling failed to deal with allegations of bullying when they surfaced more than four years ago – as well as what UK Sport knew about the problems in the velodrome – is revealed by correspondence between the two bodies obtained by a Freedom of Information request by ITV.

An email from the former British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake to UK Sport, sent to the chief executive officer Liz Nicholl in December 2012, makes no mention of bullying in his summary of an internal review conducted by Peter King, despite it being one of its key findings. Instead Drake talks about King identifying “weaknesses in the senior management and middle management structure” , which is suspected to be a reference to the tensions between the then performance director Dave Brailsford, his assistant Shane Sutton and team psychiatrist Steve Peters – as well as other issues.

Related: Wendy Houvenaghel says British Cycling medal drive led to culture of fear

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Mar 16

Rider admits breaking ‘no needle’ rule and accuses Team Sky of cover-up

• Team Sky’s Josh Edmondson self-injected vitamins in bid to make Vuelta
• Team Sky deny cover-up, saying they were concerned about his mental state

The British cyclist Josh Edmondson has confessed to breaking the sport’s “no-needle” rule by self-injecting vitamins while at Team Sky and claimed senior management covered it up when they discovered what he had been doing.

The 24-year-old, who was part of Team Sky in 2013 and 2014, said the pressure of trying to make the team for the Vuelta a España had led to him travelling to Italy to buy the amino acid L-carnitine as well as vitamin B12, folic acid, damiana compositum and the supplement TAD, which he then injected two or three times a week for about a month. Such vitamins are legal but riders have been banned from using needles under UCI rules since 2011.

Related: Team Sky sourced Fluimucil in Switzerland before Wiggins delivery

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Mar 15

Did manic desire for Olympic medals blind UK Sport to its responsibilities? | Sean Ingle

Management speak and ‘aspirational goals’ were the order of the day with bodies like British Cycling seen as vital to the targets that had been set

For some onlookers it felt like they were in a scene from Twenty Twelve, the spoof documentary set in the buildup to the London Olympics. Only it was happening in the offices of UK Sport, the body responsible for pouring millions of pounds of public money into elite sport, two years’ before the Rio Games.

“It’s all about 66/121,” announced Simon Timson, the organisation’s director of performance at the time, before explaining how surpassing Team GB’s tally in London 2012 of 65 Olympic and 120 Paralympic medals would inspire the nation. “Yeah! 66/121!” agreed his deputy Chelsea Warr.

Related: UK Sport ‘went easy’ on British Cycling to keep medal factory intact

There is no interest in anything other than winning medals

Related: Sports are cut adrift in the drive for British Olympic medals | Sean Ingle

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Mar 11

UK Sport refuses to back British Cycling chairman Jonathan Browning

• Browning’s position seen as untenable by UK Sport after leaked review
• UK Sport: ‘We are working to address issues raised by the review’

Senior figures in UK Sport believe the position of British Cycling’s new chairman, Jonathan Browning, is untenable following the leak of an independent review into the culture at the Manchester velodrome. The 57-year-old replaced Bob Howden as the chairman last month but was a nonexecutive director on British Cycling’s board from April 2014 onwards.

Last week a draft review produced by Annamarie Phelps found an internal investigation into the track cyclist Jess Varnish’s dismissal last year, as well as her allegations of sexism, had been covered up and that, incredibly, the British Cycling board had not only “sanitised” but “reversed” the findings of its grievance officer.

Related: Jess Varnish calls on British Cycling board to resign after leaked report

Related: Golden glare from Brailsford’s success allowed autocracy to develop in shadows | Andy Bull

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Mar 10

British Cycling’s reputation in tatters after scathing review is leaked

• Independent review describes Sir Dave Brailsford as an ‘untouchable figure’
• Shane Sutton’s leadership is also criticised in damning report

The last vestiges of British Cycling’s reputation appeared to be ripped to shreds last night by an independent review that accused it of allowing a “culture of fear”, with riders and staff bullied and a “dysfunctional leadership” allowed to flourish. A draft copy of the unpublished UK Sport review into the culture of British Cycling, leaked to the Daily Mail, is also damning about Sir Dave Brailsford and Shane Sutton, two of the key cogs behind the organisation’s success for over a decade.

Brailsford is described as an “untouchable” figure who took decisions about the multi-million-pound budget himself while Sutton, who was technical director of British Cycling until resigning last year, was said to be totally unsuitable for a leadership role. When he left, Sutton was also placed “on garden-leave at a level of salary which was higher than had he remained”.

Related: British Cycling ‘sexism’ report delayed and names likely be redacted

Related: British Cycling and Team Sky credibility in tatters after hearing | William Fotheringham

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Mar 08

Wada makes move to ban controversial drug used by Bradley Wiggins

• Wada believes current system with triamcinolone is open to abuse
• World Anti-Doping Agency would welcome FBI assistance in doping cases

The World Anti-Doping Agency is considering a blanket ban on the controversial drug used by Bradley Wiggins before his Tour de France victory. Wada’s director general, Olivier Niggli, said the organisation had decided to act because the current system – which allows athletes to use powerful corticosteroids freely out of competition and during competition with a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) certificate – was unsatisfactory and open to abuse.

Wiggins has come under sustained fire after the Russian hackers Fancy Bears revealed he was given three TUEs for triamcinolone injections before the 2011 and 2012 Tour as well as the 2013 Giro d’Italia. He has claimed they were for a pollen allergy but triamcinolone – also known as Kenacort – can rapidly reduce an athlete’s weight while maintaining their power.

Related: Team Sky are hoist by their own petard with admissions of amateurism | Marina Hyde

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Mar 07

Team Sky’s Dave Brailsford admits ‘mistakes were made’ over medical package

• Team principal denies breaking anti-doping rules in letter to Damian Collins
• Chairman of Team Sky board backs Brailsford to stay on

Team Sky have conceded “mistakes were made” over how they recorded Bradley Wiggins’ mystery treatment in the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné but have denied ever committing any anti-doping offence – with the team principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, urging the public to accept “there is a fundamental difference between process failings and wrongdoing”.

In a belated attempt to repair their reputation, Team Sky also repeated their insistence the legal decongestant Fluimucil was in the package delivered to Wiggins in the 2011 Dauphiné, although they accepted they could not back those claims up with hard evidence.

For record, TS Board & Sky are 100% behind team and Sir Dave Brailsford as its leader. We look forward to many more years of success (2/2)

Related: Team Sky: the 16 riders who have backed Sir Dave Brailsford and those who haven’t

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Mar 03

Rio Olympics: Lamine Diack’s son ‘paid $2m by Brazilian’ as vote loomed

• Le Monde claims Papa Massata Diack received $2m just before IOC vote
• Diack Jr worked for IAAF while Diack Sr was president and IOC member

A Brazilian businessman gave $2m to the son of the Lamine Diack, the now disgraced former IAAF president and at the time also an IOC member, just three days before Rio won the right to host the 2016 Olympics, the French newspaper Le Monde has claimed.

Citing sources among French investigators, Le Monde said it had established concrete information that Pamodzi Consulting, a company founded by Papa Massata Diack, received a $1.5m payment from a holding company based in the British Virgin Islands. Diack Jr, at the time a marketing executive for the International Association of Athletics Federations, also received $500,000 from the same company, which was transferred to a bank account in Russia.

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Feb 28

Jess Varnish questions British Cycling’s reform promises amid report secrecy

• Cyclist gagged from speaking out on report into sexism and bullying claims
• Document ‘so heavily redacted I don’t know what is going on’ says lawyer

Jess Varnish is increasingly questioning whether British Cycling is serious about reform after it gagged her from speaking about the details of its internal report into her allegations of sexism and bullying.

In December the 25-year-old raised the stakes in her battle with British Cycling by making a formal request to see the report – which cleared the former technical director Shane Sutton of eight of the nine charges against him – along with her performance data and every text and email message sent about her by staff.

Related: British Cycling must come clean over Shane Sutton and Jess Varnish

Related: Jess Varnish demands that British Cycling releases Shane Sutton data

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