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British Cycling establishes new disciplinary regulations for cycle sport

British Cycling establishes new disciplinary regulations for cycle sport

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British Cycling, following revision of its disciplinary process, has established new “Disciplinary Regulations for Cycle Sport”, which came into effect on 1 January 2019.

A number of recommendations were proposed by lawyers Mills and Reeve, to both update the regulations and to align British Cycling with other sports governing bodies. These have now been approved by the British Cycling board, with the following notable changes arising from the review:

Fines

Non-payment of fines by members, arising from a commissaire penalty or a disciplinary sanction, will now be a disciplinary offence. The bye-laws have been updated to make payment of fines, levies and debts a condition of membership renewal.

Investigation

Incidents of misconduct should continue to be sent to the British Cycling Compliance Team to be investigated. Alternatively, the Disciplinary Officer may instigate a stand-alone Disciplinary Investigation at their or British Cycling’s discretion.

The Disciplinary Officer now has an option to impose an interim suspension upon the individual during the investigation, subject to an application to a legally-qualified member of the Disciplinary Panel.

On conclusion of the investigation, if it is determined that there are reasonable grounds to bring disciplinary proceedings, the Disciplinary Officer will send the individual a formal charge. 

Sanctions

To expedite the disciplinary process for minor offences, for the benefit of British Cycling and the individual subject to the investigation, the Disciplinary Officer can offer a recommended sanction. This shall be subject to the individual:

-        Admitting the disciplinary charge;

-        Foregoing their rights to a hearing and their right to appeal; and,

-        Fully accepting the terms of the specified sanction.

The recommended sanctions have been revised to provide greater consistency across the offences and can be viewed at Appendix 2 of the Regulations. For more serious breaches, the recommended sanctions may not be appropriate and the matter will instead be dealt with by way of a hearing through the Disciplinary Committee.

Hearings

If the individual does not accept the recommended sanction, or the Disciplinary Officer deems that the matter should be dealt with by way of hearing, the Respondent will receive a Notice of Charge setting out the rules, regulations or codes alleged to have been breached.

Included in the changes is the introduction of an independent Disciplinary Panel from which a Disciplinary Committee would be selected when required. The Disciplinary Panel will consist of a mix of individuals, some legally-qualified and with the remaining panel members having appropriate skills and experience.

British Cycling seeks to ensure all disciplinary matters are heard independently and as a result, the British Cycling Board will not have any involvement in the hearings, contrary to previous procedures.

Publication

In the interests of transparency, British Cycling will continue to publish details of disciplinary matters on the British Cycling website. The decision to publish individual matters is to be at the discretion of the Disciplinary Officer. The decision shall remain available for the longer of:

-        The length of the suspension imposed, or

-        A minimum of 28 days.

The following new terms have been added to the Regulations to assist in the application of the Regulations.

Affiliate

Means a team or club affiliated to British Cycling.

Contractor

Any person or organisation engaged to supply services to British Cycling in the course of their or their own business’s undertaking.

Official

Any person acting on behalf of British Cycling in the administration of an event or acting on behalf of British Cycling in any other manner from time to time, including but not limited to the administration, coaching and organisation of a British Cycling team or any promotional or coaching activity whatsoever.

Participant

Any Member, Affiliate, Official, Spectator, Licensee, Volunteer or Contractor from time to time participating in an Event or other cycling-related activity promoted or administered by British Cycling.

Spectator

Any person who is admitted on-course at an Event other than as a Rider, Official or Volunteer or who is attending an Event as a Spectator only.

Volunteer

Any person providing assistance or support to British Cycling from time to time otherwise than as an employee or Director and including but not limited to any person providing assistance at an Event.

The term ‘Spectator’ has been included in an attempt to apply the Regulations to those who are in and around British Cycling events, who may be in breach of the Code of Conduct or Regulations. These Regulations do not deal with Safeguarding or Anti-Doping matters which have their own separate provisions.

It is hoped that the revision of the rules will provide greater clarity around the sanctions, and the flexibility to deal with an ever-changing sport whilst ensuring that British Cycling continues to operate with the transparency and independence expected of such an organisation.