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Julie Harrington Appointed Head of British Cycling

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British Cycling announced today, that Julie Harrington has been appointed its new chief executive, replacing the recently-departed Ian Drake.

Harrington, the former group operations director at the Football Association, arrives amid fresh controversy over doping investigations. “I am thrilled to be asked to lead British Cycling as it embarks on a new chapter in its history,” she said. “This is the right time to be joining one of this country’s leading governing bodies.”

“British Cycling already has a fantastic track record of using elite success to inspire millions of people to get active by getting on their bikes and is now setting its sights on new ambitions and a new way of working”, said Harrington. 

Harrington’s first task will be to tackle the doping questions which continue to plagued the organization.

Last week a member of Great Britain’s Parliament, Damian Collins, who’s the chair of the Culture Media and Sport select committee, said the credibility of both British Cycling and Team Sky was “in tatters” after the UK Anti-Doping chief executive, Nicole Sapstead, criticized them for failing to keep proper records of medications given to riders.

In addition, the British newspaper, the Sunday Times, reported that a delivery of banned testosterone patches was made to British Cycling headquarters in 2011, having been ordered by Dr Richard Freeman, who is at the center of UK Anti-Doping’s investigation into the contents of a jiffy bag delivered to former Team Sky rider, Bradley Wiggins, during the Criterium du Dauphiné.

Controversy has dogged Wiggins since the Russian hackers Fancy Bears revealed documents last September which showed he had received TUEs (therapeutic use exemptions) for triamcinolone to coincide with his three biggest races in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Harrington has almost 15 years worth of experience in sports leadership roles, and is currently the group operations director for the FA, responsible for Wembley and St George’s Park – the national teams’ training base. She has been with the FA since 2011, having joined to work exclusively on the finalisation of the £100m St George’s Park development.

Before that she spent nine years at operations director of the Northern Racing Group, and she remains a non-executive director of the British Horseracing Authority. She has also worked in marketing roles for British Airways, Whitbread, Carlsberg Tetley, and Allied Domecq.

“In appointing Julie, I am delighted that we have found someone with exactly the right mix of skills to lead British Cycling as we embark on a period of significant change,” said Jonathan Browning.

“Julie has substantial experience at the top level of sport and I am confident that she will excel in what is a landmark and exciting appointment for British Cycling. Her background in sport and commercial partnerships will prove vital in delivering our joint vision with HSBC UK to make cycling the number one sport and activity of choice in Britain. I am confident she will help us achieve our goal of becoming a world class governing body.”

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