New Zealand cycling chiefs are saying the inquiry into the sport following the death of Olivia Podmore will be handled in such a way that it’s fair and open to everybody, and without the risk of repercussions. The idea is to invite input provided in a free and honest manner, said Cycling New Zealand boss Jacques Landry this week.
According to Landry, several athletes have expressed fears over divulging information to the inquiry panel due to their being party to non-disclosure and/or confidentiality agreements. He said the organisation had communicated to athletes and coaches that speaking out would be handled in a confidential manner.
Even so, Landry’s message appears to be in direct conflict with a letter received by athletes on Tuesday. The letter reportedly invites athletes to give input, but only in those cases where that input relates to matters not covered by non-disclosure agreements.
According to ex-Olympic cyclist Eddie Dawkins, all non-disclosure agreements should rightly be voided if athletes are to be allowed to speak freely without a fear of consequences or repercussions. He said confidentiality agreements and the like in a case such as this create a foundation for people not being in a position to speak out. Dawkins also said this will be the only way for High Performance Sport and Cycling New Zealand to make an actual and significant change to how the sport’s affairs are managed in future.
If the investigation is going to yield a different result to 2018’s Heron review, concluded Dawkins, then everybody should be made comfortable in sharing information.
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