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British Cycling appoints its first ever Chief Medical Officer

Dr Nigel Jones, who joined as Head of Medical Services for national team in 2017, takes on expanded role

British Cycling has appointed Dr Nigel Jones, who joined the organisation in 2017, as its first ever Chief Medical Officer.

In the newly created role, Dr Jones, who previously worked for the Rugby Football Union and Liverpool FC, will oversee medical service and guidance for the Great Britain Cycling Team as well as for British Cycling’s wider operations.

He joined British Cycling as Head of Medical Services for the Great Britain Cycling Team in August 2017, at a time when the governing body and Team Sky’s medical functions were in the spotlight due to an ongoing UK Anti-doping (UKAD) investigation over allegations of wrongdoing.

Since then, British Cycling says, “he has been instrumental in developing the organisation’s governance, policies and protocols for concussion and cardiac screening, medical record keeping and medicines management, and mental health and wellbeing.”

It adds that “in his new, widened role he will now also drive changes to medical guidance and strategy for the wider organisation, covering grassroots cycle-sport, risk management, Covid-19 guidance, occupational health, and collaboration with stakeholders including the UCI, UKAD, DCMS and other national governing bodies.”

British Cycling CEO Brian Facer said: “Since joining the organisation in 2017, Dr Nigel Jones has overseen truly transformational changes in the governance and provision of medical services for the Great Britain Cycling Team, putting us at the very forefront of our sector.

“Securing CQC status for the medical services provided to riders competing for our country was a significant achievement by Dr Jones and his team and means we are truly living up to a duty of care we have for our riders. That duty of care requires us to not only give them the medical support they need, but also requires us to be able to demonstrate that, when they compete, they are doing so in the right way.”

He added: “I’m thrilled that the sport as a whole will now benefit from his counsel and expertise, particularly as we once again begin to navigate the challenges of safely resuming activity and events through the rest of the year. This move is part of much wider work which will continue as British Cycling fulfils its ambition to lead the way in terms of good governance for cycling and the wider sport sector.”

Dr Jones said: “I’m delighted to take on this new role as British Cycling’s first Chief Medical Officer, providing dedicated support to the Board and Executive Leadership Team and giving confidence to our volunteers and the cycling workforce as they support a safe return to grassroots activities and events.

“A key part of this broadened role will be how we upskill and educate all those involved in our sport to minimise risk and make existing resources both engaging and relevant for their roles. I’m looking forward to working closely alongside colleagues from across British Cycling to further enhance the support and provision we currently offer, learning from the wider sector and ensuring that we are well prepared to meet the challenges of the future.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved in developing the Great Britain Cycling Team’s medical provision and strategy over recent years, and I look forward to continuing that work with the staff and riders as we head towards Tokyo and beyond,” he added.

The 2017 UKAD probe, which was focused on the contents of the jiffy bag couriered to former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman at the Criterium du Dauphiné in 2011.

The package contained medicine for Bradley Wiggins, who won the race, and was claimed to contain the decongestant Fluimucil, which is not banned, but had been alleged to contain the prohibited drug triamcinolone.

The investigation was closed in November 2017, with the anti-doping agency saying that “Despite very significant effort on UKAD's part, UKAD remains unable to confirm or refute the account that the package delivered to Team Sky contained Fluimucil. It follows that UKAD does not intend to issue any anti-doping charges in relation to the package.”

> Ukad says Jiffy bag investigation was “hindered” and “potentially compromised” by British Cycling

Freeman, who was struck off the Medical Register earlier this month after a tribunal ruled that he had ordered Testogel for delivery to the National Cycling Centre ““knowing or believing that it was to be administered to an athlete to improve their athletic performance,” left British Cycling in October 2017 and is currently the subject of a fresh UKAD probe.

> Ex-Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman struck off Medical Register

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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