Sean Ingle

Author's details

Name: Sean Ingle
Date registered: October 2, 2014

Latest posts

  1. Tony Yeboah’s bonus scheme lacked the flexibility to succeed | Sean Ingle — March 26, 2017
  2. Email throws fresh light on British Cycling’s burying of bullying — March 24, 2017
  3. Rider admits breaking ‘no needle’ rule and accuses Team Sky of cover-up — March 16, 2017
  4. Did manic desire for Olympic medals blind UK Sport to its responsibilities? | Sean Ingle — March 15, 2017
  5. UK Sport refuses to back British Cycling chairman Jonathan Browning — March 11, 2017

Author's posts listings

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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Feb 27

Olympic bidders face harsh reality of costs heavily outweighing benefits | Sean Ingle

The IOC may find fewer cities eager to host the Games with experts agreeing that staging the event is economically damaging despite a larger revenue cake

These days even the Olympics is going on the 5:2 diet. Less than 18 months ago, the politicians and panjandrams of Hamburg, Rome, Budapest, Paris and Los Angeles all craved the right to host the 2024 Games. Now, following Budapest’s withdrawal last week, only Paris and Los Angeles remain. But it is merely reflective of a bidding process that is getting worryingly slimmer.

Twelve cities fought over the 2004 Olympics. Yet only two were in the running for the 2022 Winter Olympics. And now here we are again. Even LA, one of the last pair standing for 2024, was a replacement for Boston after a concerted public campaign forced a rethink at the US Olympic Committee.

Related: Rio Olympic venues already falling into a state of disrepair

Related: Rio’s Olympic venues, six months on – in pictures

Related: Abandoned Athens Olympic 2004 venues, 10 years on – in pictures

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Feb 22

UK Sport and British Cycling at odds before unveiling of Phelps report

If the cycling body can expect further battering until the truth is laid bare, UK Sport may be charged with forsaking diligence in its obsession with medals

When lawyers for UK Sport drew up the contract for British Cycling’s £30.6m funding agreement after London 2012 one clause seemed innocuous enough: “You shall fully communicate and provide information to us regarding the outcomes of the Peter King review.”

Four years on, however it is the basis for frosty skirmishes between Britain’s most successful Olympic sport and the body whose millions have allowed it to thrive.

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Feb 21

UK Sport accuses British Cycling of a ‘complete lack of transparency’

• Cycling body provided paymaster with ‘summary’ of damning report
• Full report completed in 2012 but was not handed over until 2016

British Cycling’s reputation faces the prospect of another battering after it was accused of misleading UK Sport, the body that provides it with millions of pounds of public money each year, by covering up allegations of bullying in an internal report after London 2012.

Liz Nicholl, the chief executive of UK Sport, said British Cycling had displayed “a complete lack of transparency” by giving UK Sport a summary of an internal performance review conducted by its former CEO Peter King which did not accurately reflect the facts of the report.

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

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Feb 21

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

With the funding body coming under increasing financial pressure, sports failing its podium test are being made to pay a heavier price

When Gail Emms was asked about UK Sport’s decision to reject the desperate pleas of seven sports, including GB Badminton, to be funded for the Tokyo Olympics, she was poetic in her response. “It’s like someone just taking your heart, your emotions, your dreams and basically tearing them up,” said Emms, a badminton silver medallist at the 2004 Olympics, with a sigh.

But UK Sport has a tin ear for poetry. Its language is cold, hard, medal-economics. Once it had decided in December that badminton – along with archery, fencing, goal ball, table tennis, weightlifting and wheelchair rugby – had little chance of winning any medals in 2020, any representations to the contrary were always likely to fall on deaf ears.

Related: GB Badminton ‘staggered’ after UK Sport rejects seven Tokyo funding appeals

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Feb 07

Report into British Cycling sexism and bullying allegations to be delayed

• Publication date of report put back by at least a fortnight to March
• Allegations against Shane Sutton are among those being investigated

The publication of a highly anticipated report into the culture of British Cycling, which has examined serious allegations of sexism and bullying, is likely to be delayed until next month in order to allow individuals the chance to respond.

The report, which has been described to the Guardian as being “thorough” and “admirable” by two sources, was due to be published next week after being discussed by UK Sport’s board last Wednesday. The timetable will be pushed back by at least a fortnight while lawyers ensure there is no possibility of a legal challenge. It also means it is likely to be redacted in places to ensure there is no threat of libel action from those criticised by others in the report.

Related: Victoria Williamson: ‘You could see my bare spine. The skin had torn away’ | Donald McRae

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Feb 01

James Ellington back on his feet and says he will be back on track in 2018

• Sprinter takes first steps two weeks after serious motorcycle crash
• 31-year-old broke both legs and his pelvis in accident in Tenerife

James Ellington is determined to return to action next year after the British Olympic sprinter took his first steps since breaking his pelvis and both legs in a motorcycle accident.

The 31-year-old, who competed for Team GB in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the Olympics in August, was riding pillion with his team-mate Nigel Levine, who represented Britain in the 4x400m relay in Rio, when their bike was involved in an accident with a car in Tenerife.

First proper steps today with a fractured pelvis, fractured left leg and completely broken right leg, can’t believe the progress so far, the hospital physio thought I would be in a wheelchair for at least 6 weeks before I could even attempt this. I will be back 2018.

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