19 Aug 2021

Cycling New Zealand under review - again

5:59 pm on 19 August 2021

An independent inquiry into Cycling New Zealand's High Performance programme will take place following the death of New Zealand representative cyclist Olivia Podmore.

Natasha Hansen and Olivia Podmore of New Zealand during the Women's Sprint.

Natasha Hansen and Olivia Podmore of New Zealand competing in the women's sprint. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The joint inquiry announced by Cycling New Zealand and High Performance Sport New Zealand on Thursday will focus on the adequacy of the changes made after a 2018 review into the sport.

In a statement, High Performance Sport New Zealand chief executive Raelene Castle said Podmore's death had raised serious questions about athlete wellbeing in the wake of the Tokyo Olympics that must be acted upon.

Podmore represented New Zealand at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018. In 2017 she was New Zealand keirin champion.

"Olivia's death has focussed our attention once more on the complex issues surrounding athlete welfare and wellbeing, issues that the system has grappled with across a number of years. Our priority is to ensure we understand what has happened and what more can be done," Castle said.

"Understanding something so complex will take time. We also must respect and engage in the coronial enquiry that is underway."

Cycling New Zealand chairman Phil Holden said: "We have been listening carefully to the voices of athletes who have spoken out or made contact with us directly.

"The Board of Cycling New Zealand are very clear they want to make sure that those perspectives are built into this inquiry right from the start."

An independent inquirer is yet to be appointed with further details of the inquiry to be confirmed next week.

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