Britain's Cycling Superheroes The Price of Success



Comments (36)

  1. The BBC is like PBS in the States. Wholly biased and brazenly self-righteous. Note the hushed, solemn tone and in the narrator’s voice. “Sinister winners are in the area. Beware their corrupting influence on mediocrities everywhere. Not to worry. We shall knock them down a peg or two.” The only thing missing is lightening bolts and wolves howling in the background. The upside is most people see through their feigned virtue.

  2. It’s not just about how good your training is but your doping program

  3. These people are babies. If you can hold the Watts per Kilo then you need to go. Shane created results

  4. Go on lose some timber you demps

  5. “The control by the coaches over the athletes was complete,” he wrote. “Non-compliance was not acceptable because the coaches were involved in the decisions about who to select for competitions and whether an athlete could stay on the Olympic Podium Programme.” That is a corrupt culture, which still prevails in BC, still run by the same discredited men. Riders must be free to work with any coach they wish. Sack the incumbents. 
    “NDAs: MPs call for ban on 'gagging clauses' over 'cover-up' fears.” 
    British Cycling and UK Sport have spent a fortune on lawyers to cover up their managerial misconduct. The whole sordid story (who paid for all the lawyers AND their NDAs?) should be exposed to public scrutiny by another DCMS select committee. 

    “Liz Nicholl, UK Sport chief executive, said the organisation will encourage more whistleblowers like Jess Varnish.” You and BC excluded JV’s victimisation from the CIR’s remit, to cover up gross misconduct by Iain Dyer and Shane Sutton, which destroyed an innocent woman’s life and career, BEFORE she blew the whistle. Duty of Care!!! Proud of yourself, are you?

  6. Wiggins took steroid d/t therapeutic exemption and won TDF. Froome took steroids under therapeutic exemption and won multiple TDF. Steroid under therapeutic exemption is one helluva drug turning a mere mortal into a superhuman status. Bravo British Cyclung and Team Sky

  7. 47:08…YOU EVIL BEAST!!

  8. THe TUV guy And than the salbutamol guy… And the train goes on…

  9. It looks like one of Shane Sutton's issues was his 'ocker' interpersonal style. At times he sounds like a coach of an 1980's National Rugby League (Australian rugby league) or Australian Football League (Aussie Rules) team. Australian cricket team got into hot water recently for a similar 'do anything to win' attitude.

  10. It's Vicky I feel sorry for. Not sorry for her success. Not sorry for her notoriety and fame, or the commercial gains. I feel sorry for Victoria the person. She suffered psychologically greater than she will say to get those wins. Painting the postboxes gold in stotfold (her home town) in her honour must've been quite something on top of it all, but it can't ever fix years of termoil and pain.

  11. Cycling is THE HARDEST SPORT, and winners are always under suspicion

  12. maybe she should go have a baby.

  13. David Brailsford managed to get his teams through the wicked game of cat and mouse mostly unscathed, therefore he is perceived positively. If he was caught like Lance, he'd be despised. Such is the sport of cycling, it's not a matter of IF you start doping it's a matter of when you get CAUGHT doing it.

  14. If Sutton had done nothing wrong, he’d still be drawing a big BC salary, despite his obvious failings.
    If Iain Dyer hadn’t sacked Jess Varnish, in a hissy fit, there’d be no allegations against Sutton.
    If they’d qualified for the Rio team sprint, BC would have renewed JV’s contract – no question.
    If Becky James had not been injured, GB would irrefutably have gained the points to qualify.
    If BC had capable coaches, none of the riders would suffer the training injuries they did.

    In any objective scientific study, you’ll often learn more from the negatives than the positives. So it is with coaching generally and British Cycling’s regime in particular. Take, e.g. the salutary lessons of Becky’s crippling by Iain Dyer, Justin Grace, Jan van Eijden and Sutton. ONE competent coach would’ve done a far better job! 

    “I have to concentrate most of my work on strength building.” The result is; “you lose your speed and your racing form suffers.” Victoria Pendleton. “If I start pushing myself too hard my body will break down.” Becky James. “We introduced gym work and it went again.” The knee, that is – when will they ever learn? “James had keyhole surgery on a chronic shoulder injury – lateral clavicle osteolysis – which has been traced back to an injury sustained in the gym when she was 16. But it is James’s left knee that has disrupted her training.” (2014-15) and stopped her gaining any points to qualify the team for RIO. Why do these failures stay on the payroll, but Jess Varnish doesn’t? The riders would stand a better chance of winning, without BC’s coaching, as Armitstead proved:-
    “I’d have to work with a track coach and I would struggle with the approach of certain coaches.” Lizzie Deignan. "I don't have a coach. All my inner strength and confidence comes from me. It’s just about trust. I’m the only person I trust to do a good enough job. I used to have problems with over-training.” (and she suffered several injuries, in her formative years under the BC yoke.)
    “The control by the coaches over the athletes was complete,” he wrote. “Non-compliance was not acceptable because the coaches were involved in the decisions about who to select for competitions and whether an athlete could stay on the Olympic Podium Programme.” A corrupt culture, which still persists in BC, under the same discredited men. Riders must be free to choose their own coach.

  15. The part of doping that this piece neglects to properly interrogate is the fact that when done correctly, doping is not meant to be discovered.

  16. There’s only one word for British Cycling’s treatment of Jess Varnish – criminal. Liz Nicholl bears as much responsibility for this scandalous injustice as anyone. . . 
    “Issues concerning athlete welfare were a ‘disturbing and uncomfortable’ period of her reign, outgoing UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl has told the BBC.” 

    "But what I'm proud of is that we responded by doing the right thing.” Wow, the sickest of sick jokes – that much is evident. 

    The legal wrangling over employee status is nothing more than another cynical exercise to hide the fact that athletes were forced to sign up to illegal/immoral contract clauses, waiving fundamental rights. (“There’s no compensation if you’re injured.”) A reconvened DCMS select committee must condemn the lawyers that drew up the contracts and resorted to character assassination to humiliate their innocent victim before a tribunal judge. They are despicable – the lowest of the low. 

    . . hearing scheduled for 10 Dec. . Nicholl denied it had played a part in her decision to step down. It smacks of a guilty conscience, to make an empty denial without explaining the ‘real’ reason!

    “We will learn from this regardless of whether we win or lose.” If you had an ounce of common sense or any moral compass, you’d be on JV’s side, taking BC to court. . for misuse of UK Sport funds and maladministration. Instead UK Sport connived with BC to cover up the wrongdoing that was exposed by Alex Russell’s internal enquiry. Why did you rig the CIR’s remit to exclude JV’s victimisation from the report? Why did you allow ‘Maxwellisation’ to include hearsay?

  17. There's one thing I've never quite understood. Sexism in sports in terms of payment. This might be controversial as an opinion, but shouldn't payment directly translate in how much your worth to the team in terms of economical gains again? I almost 100% certain that women would be paid more if the women's sport generated more money than the men's sport. I mean the payment gaps are massive between men in the same sport as well depending on how well they perform, what sponsors they have and how much the viewership generates to the sponsor themselves as well.

    Just because you're part of the same team, not every athlete gets the same salary. And it certainly hasn't got anything to do with gender in those cases. Unlike regular work where you're paid to do a specific job, while a sport generates money through popularity and value as a public figure. While i can understand the frustration as women certainly put in the same effort, i'd say that when it comes to athletes i believe that it all comes down to how much you're worth to the team in return profit. Regardless of your gender.

  18. Stephen Park says he “would need the approval of lawyers before she (Jess) is able to rejoin British Cycling.” Hard to imagine a more ludicrous legal fiasco/criminal injustice (perpetrated by Iain Dyer). He cleverly left Sutton to carry the can. Shane, like Brailsford, spouts self-incriminating stories. 

    “The King report from 2012 was also released with the CIR report. Its contents are astonishing in that, as expected, they too reveal a culture of ‘fear, intimidation and bullying’ overseen by the most ‘bizarre management structure’.” 14 June 2017. Liz Nicholl was shocked by that cover-up, but then attempted to intimidate JV into dropping her fight for justice!!! Yet more rank hypocrisy in ‘high’ places?! “There won't be less success,” she said. “If you address duty of care there will be more success because you create an environment which is very positive, so I think we'll see the results getting better.” Two women’s careers finished at 25 and Liz failed to save the one she could. As this Olympic ‘cycle’ proves – those world-class riders were irreplaceable! Very negative, isn’t it? We could shed half a dozen useless coaches and get better results. Sack them all and let riders choose who they want to work with – you know it makes sense. 

    UK Sport conspired with BC’s bigwigs to whitewash the CIR and hide their maladministration. Another DCMS select committee should expose the sordid deceit and wield the sword of justice. Millions in Lottery and taxpayer’s money has been frittered away just to save face. Anyone with an ounce of integrity would say; "The buck stops here."

  19. Let’s set the record straight: “Simple, she wasn’t progressing.” – is a narcissist’s calumny and proof of his failure as a coach. Only an incompetent fool could write off any athlete at the tender age of 25. Sutton’s lies are compounded by his false claim that it was ‘simply’ a question of selection for Rio. There was no team sprint place to be selected for, because Iain Dyer’s professional malpractice had ruined our world-class women sprinters. BC coaches admit we would’ve qualified (over 2 years), if James hadn’t suffered chronic (2014-15) damage to her left knee. “We introduced gym work and it went again.” – Proof that the coaches are incompetent.  

    “I was told, if you don’t put on weight you’re not going anywhere.” (The bully’s ultimatum.) “I have had to put on 10 kilos.” Since she turned senior, Varnish can now squat more than twice her bodyweight (an irrelevant ‘performance’ measure). Even Boardman fell for the same ‘brute-force-and-ignorance’ pseudoscience; “Lap 1 is just weight-lifting.” What a dumb remark. Then, "Surplus to requirements" proved to be untrue as well.

    Sutton admits to saying, “lose some timber” (fat-shaming), which is the polar opposite of Dyer’s previous advice!!!  

    Many cycling champions don’t even learn what they’re capable of, until they reach the prime years 25-35. It is a mature athlete’s sport. If JV ever fell short on performance, it was only due to the bad training (NFOR) imposed by her ignorant coaches, who had absolute, monopoly control of every aspect, since all alternatives to their regime were forbidden. Bullies eliminate any competition. It’s the only way they can prop up the myth of infallibility and keep their jobs. 

    To save face, the directors and management of BC (and UK Sport) covered up the victimisation of JV by excluding her case from the CIR’s remit. The findings of Alex Russell’s internal investigation were also buried by the lawyer’s unlawful ‘Maxwellisation’ of the CIR report, which includes the derogatory hearsay (5.66.) “JV was perceived as the ring-leader and a trouble-maker.” – irrelevant, false accusations that should be struck from the record. 

    British Cycling needs to keep selectors separate from the coaching team, so their bias (favouritism) is less corrupting. Jess Varnish was an innocent victim of the bully’s ‘retaliation’ (5.66.) and had her appeal (against non-renewal of contract, NOT deselection) wrongfully dismissed by the very same people – Sutton, Dyer, Justin Grace and Jan van Eijden – who were mortified by their own pathetic failure to qualify for Rio, with a team of proven, world-class riders.

  20. FEAR, intimidation and bullying? Lololol

  21. Video starts at 1:53. Before that it's just all random teaser snippets entirely out of context to create some sort of tension that isn't really there.

  22. Viictoria Pendledon is so hot

  23. 13:02 – that "stray" dog took out TWO cyclists….

  24. Two separate issues here which, for the sake of clarity, deserved a programme each! 

    Conflating BC’s bully culture and the PED abuse just adds to the confusion. It’s raised suspicions in ill-informed minds that our Olympic success may be tainted, but only Team Sky are guilty of making unethical use of TUEs – irrefutably breaking UCI rules. Dr Richard Freeman should be in court so that his lies can be examined – Boris Johnson likewise. Justice and democracy are put in jeopardy by this shameful dishonesty in authority. 

    "I do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” Without that affirmation, don't believe them. 
    The frequent use of NDAs to cover up embarrassing mistakes or wrongdoing must be exposed for what it is. That should apply to the administration of the House of Commons, no less. 

    If the truth be known, there were more failures than success in British Cycling, due to the ‘brute-force-and-ignorance’ of their training methods. How can anyone in their right mind heap praise on a coaching team that cripples world class athletes and brings about their premature retirement?! 

    Shane said; “We all take ownership and responsibility to deliver excellence.” – Unless your name is Brailsford, Sutton or Dyer, of course! They never took responsibility for the harm they caused, nor accepted that a rider’s ‘under-performance’ was very likely their fault. (injury ‘niggles’!) 

    What was the price and who grabbed most of the money? Jobs for the boys = a very poor ROI. (55% from The Lottery, 45% from government.)
    Sydney  £5,400,000
    Athens  £8,600,000
    Beijing  £22,151,000 
    London  £26,032,000
    Rio 2016  £30,267,816 

    When managers are on six-figure salaries, that’s a powerful motivation to cover up (a 7-figure sum spent on legal fees!) the cover-up in ‘high’ places and keep the money rolling in. . . 
    Cycling, 2017 – 2020 Funding: £29,624,264 
    Para-Cycling, 2017 – 2021 Funding: £8,094,453 

    “What is the cost of lies? It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth . . the real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all.”

  25. Another corporate organization pushing vulnerable people to use performance enhancing medications to maintain sponsorship. Throw the book at all of them. Shane Sutton" if the final 5% required is to use a Tue then yes "

  26. With the benefit of hindsight:-
    The new management team, paid handsomely to sort out British Cycling’s mess, may have been handed a poisoned chalice, but in all honesty they did not have to drink from it. From Michael Chivers to Frank Slevin, their handling of BC’s meltdown has been an abject failure.
    “An element of marking your own homework under the previous regime.” Including the mistaken belief of coaches indoctrinated with a ‘brute-force-and-ignorance’ mantra of ‘No Pain – No Gain.’ So, every success was attributed to a coach’s influence and every failure blamed on the riders. In reality, it was exactly the opposite. The failures resulted from the ill-advised training encouraged by bad coaches, like Sutton and Dyer. Nobody can race at 100% with an injury ‘niggle’ can they Shane?!

  27. David Millar. Nothing worse than a poacher turned game-keeper. Self-righteous cock-socket. Why give this odious prick the oxygen of publicity?

  28. Cycling fan from Texas

  29. Shit journalism in UK – UK press are scum .

  30. sorry does anyone actually truly care about the methods?

  31. This is a poor piece of investigative journalism. It could easily have uncovered the truth about BC’s failure to qualify for Rio. A string of training injuries decimated the women’s sprint squad during the 2-year qualifying campaign. That can ONLY be blamed on dumb coaching, so Sutton is lying to camera to save face. He colluded with a red-faced Iain Dyer to get rid of JV. Her dismissal was “an act of retaliation” (para: 5.66. CIR report) nothing to do with selection OR performance. Dyer kept shtum to avoid incriminating himself and left Shane to suffer the (deserved) public humiliation. 

    BC and UK Sport set the terms of reference of the CIR in a vain attempt to hide their guilt and the dishonest old management team closed ranks to save their own skins – gagging Alex Russell and lying to the press – Jonathan Browning stated that the performance data that led to Varnish being suddenly dropped from the Olympic programme “led to the right conclusion”. Irrefutably, that’s a wicked calumny. If it were true, he would’ve published the evidence to remove any doubt. 
    “It’s just that her contract was up for renewal and we didn’t renew it.” An implicit admission that they could never have “got rid of Jess” if her contract had NOT been up for renewal. “She hasn’t gone as fast as she went 3 years ago.” Easily disproved – she suffered a prolapsed disc in the Spring of 2013.

    One paragraph from my 2016 submission to the CIR:- 
    “My remarks are best reviewed under the heading ‘Duty of Care’. It is incontestable that BC has fallen woefully short in that respect. No sports science can ever excuse a single training injury. If some coaches cannot be trusted to wisely judge the limits they need to have the boundaries set in the athlete’s contract. i.e. There must be a sanction on any coach responsible for training injuries.”

    “Sports minister faces parliamentary grilling over 'intimidation' tactics used by UK Sport against Jess Varnish.” Damian Collins, condemned the funding agency’s application to freeze Varnish’s assets. A judge on Monday threw out UK Sport’s deposit order application, as well as one for a costs order that would have bankrupted her.” Have they no shame? 
    “Liz Nicholl, UK Sport chief exec, said the organisation will encourage more whistleblowers like Jess Varnish.” Threatening her with bankruptcy is the way to do this? 

    “It was either four months off my bike or have back surgery.” Jess Varnish. “The preparations had all been going OK until I hurt my back.” – Elinor Barker. “James had keyhole surgery on a chronic shoulder injury – lateral clavicle osteolysis – which has been traced back to an injury sustained in the gym when she was 16. But it is James’s left knee that has disrupted her training.” (2014-15) Why on Earth are these guys still on the payroll? They’ve always been surplus to requirements. The riders would be better off coaching themselves. 
    2014 was the nadir of the Muddle Factory’s failed regime – proving their methods to be unfit for purpose. . “To my mind we over-trained for the Worlds,” says Clancy. “We worked too hard and went there completely burnt out. I’ll argue that to the bitter end. We were tired and it was unfair that a few of the guys got that stick.” from Shane Sutton. ‘Snowflake’ Ed, complaining after Cali. The girls never complained – they suffered in silence.

    “Core blimey! I survived another brutal training week! Big thanks to @MartinE1981_SC my S+C for continuing to support and push me!” – Shanaze Reade 2015. Becky James retired at 25, broken in body and spirit, saying, “I couldn’t face another four-year cycle.” – of ‘ruthless’ coaching! 

    “Minimise pain, if you wish to maximise gain. In other words, be nice to yourself.” That’s the only intelligent, sustainable sports science philosophy in the 21st century, but Sir Dave is an arrogant bully, who’ll never admit he got it wrong and ruined careers:- 
    Brailsford said that cycling needed to develop a greater sense of duty of care. “There’s a mental health issue which may be triggered by the demands of the sport. Duty of care is maybe something that collectively we could be moving on.” 9 May 2019 “may be – maybe”!! First and foremost, there’s a serious physical health issue with training injuries. (NFOR)

  32. accusations from people like me who just enjoy watching sports should not say they know what happened. I will wait for evidence and just enjoy the sport.

  33. The wrong,Starts with calling athletes, Heroes…

  34. Welcome to the one true British trait.
    Be successful, but then be ready to be dumped on by the press and politicians out for a story.

    That Jiffy bag could of contained a c90 cassette labelled "Awesome Mix Vol.1" and been complete with an unboxing video.

    The headline would still of been "Awesome Mix of Performance Enhancing Drugs opened by Sir Bradley!"

    And here is the perfect proof. The BBC puts out a documentary with ZERO evidence, but a bucket load of insinuation.

  35. If you want success , you need someone like Shane Sutton, pushing the buttons, sound like a bunch of snowflakes…

  36. People hating on cycling…..

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