AUSCYCLING will introduce a range of measures in response to the findings of the independent report into the equipment failure that occurred in the qualifying round of the Men's Team Pursuit at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The report, which was commissioned shortly after the incident, found that while a range of factors contributed to the failure, two were critical.
The first was an inadequate specification for custom-built handlebars, the second was the failure to conduct adequate fatigue testing.
The report found that a lack of adequate processes and policies meant that the issues weren’t detected and rectified before the team raced at the Games.
The author of the report, Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineer John Baker, made 14 recommendations covering processes, policies, quality control and more. He also made five key recommendations for the manufacturers of the base bar, Bastion Cycles.
AusCycling will adopt all recommendations, which will complement two major initiatives that have run parallel to the investigation.
The first was the creation of a High-Performance Review sub-committee which has a sweeping ambit including a focus on ensuring that: ‘’AusCycling has the most effective structure, people, resources and relationships to develop, lead and execute the High-Performance program needed to reach AusCycling’s goals,’’
The Committee – which was established prior to the Tokyo Games - has spent several months reviewing all elements of AusCycling’s High-Performance program and its work continues.
The second is the recent recruitment of an Executive General Manager – Performance, to replace the previous role of Performance Director. Jesse Korf was recently appointed to the role which has been designed to ensure that the Australian Cycling Team is structured and led in a way that meets AusCycling’s strategic aims for international success and athlete well-being.
AusCycling CEO Marne Fechner thanked the investigation team for their work and praised staff and external stakeholders for their co-operation and honesty.
‘’We commissioned the independent report in the full knowledge that it could produce uncomfortable findings,’’ Fechner said.
‘’We also said that we’d regard it as an opportunity to learn and get better. Today is a critical step toward that goal, and we are committed to ensuring that our elite programs benefit from world-class systems, processes and culture.
‘’We have work to do, but our commitment is to ensure that we strengthen those things that make us great and remedy those things that must change.’’
Alex Porter, who was riding the bike that failed, said the release of the report was an important step in clarifying what had happened.
‘’I acknowledge the work that has gone into the report and the many people who have contributed to a better understanding of what happened in Tokyo,’’ Porter said.
‘’I also appreciate AusCycling’s transparency and acknowledge their apology to all of us who rode in the Team Pursuit.
‘’While I’m glad that we now have greater clarity around what happened, I’m still absorbing the details of the report and will not be making any further comment.’’