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    It is a familiar tale. British athletes speaking out about bullying and a “toxic” culture of fear. Hard evidence of inappropriate behaviour Ersan Ilyasova Womens Jersey Allen’s absence, the manager admittedfrom senior coaches and plummeting morale. UK Sport appearing to do little about it for years before belatedly acting. This is not British Cycling we are talking about, however, but British Bobsleigh.Many British Olympic sports are rightly proud of their professionalism and successes. UK Sport, which celebrated its 21st birthday last month, also points to Britain’s giddy position in the medal table since the Atlanta Games in 1996 as a justification for its efforts and tough funding decisions. Yet increasingly the flaws in the system are beginning to show.It cannot be right when athletes at the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association (BBSA) are warned they could lose their chance of competing at the Olympics if they dare to speak out publicly about issues such as bullying, sexism and racism, as the Guardian revealed in June.Or that an organisation that receives £5m in taxpayers’ money suddenly announces just six months before the Olympics that it cannot fund a single women’s team at the Winter Olympics because of financial shortfalls – much to the staff’s anger – while committing to funding three men’s sledges. The decision was quickly reversed after Mica McNeill started a successful crowdfunding campaign, but for many the bitter taste still lingers.
    Meanwhile the Guardian’s latest revelations about the racist remarks by the British Bobsleigh head coach, Lee Johnston, and the poor financial decisions made by BBSA also highlight a worrying lack of curiosity and transparency on the part of UK Sport, whose job it is not only to fund elite sports but to hold them accountable.The Guardian has seen a letter that shows that UK Sport’s performance manager, Helen Nicholls, who also worked closely with British Cycling, was made aware that Johnston was accused of telling one member of the squad, Toby Olubi, “I knew you would be late because you are black” and, later in the same training session on 4 July 2013: “Black drivers Authentic Alex English Womens Jersey do not make good bobsleigh drivers.”
    Yet UK Sport seems to have taken a surprisingly hands-off approach. It told the Guardian: “UK Sport was aware of this allegation at the time and sought assurances that it was being dealt with appropriately by the BBSA as the employer.” It also had no comment on whether Johnston being formally disciplined and warned to his future conduct was an appropriate sanction.Insiders say that more than £500,000 was wasted on building a state-of-the-art sled – with the help of McLaren – that was not considered good enough to be used for the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. Eleven months earlier it had sounded like such a good idea to take the bobsleigh Britain had used to win bronze in the 1998 Olympics out of storage, strip it down to the frame, rebuild it with super expensive materials and put it through comprehensive testing, including pressure mapping and wind resistance. Reality proved rather different.
    As one squad member told the Guardian, when it was given back to the team by McLaren in October 2013, it had to be re-engineered because it was found to be too small to fit in all four men. Even when it was used in competition the sled performed well below expectations and it was shelved after a crash a month before Sochi. The widespread feeling in the camp was that it was “rubbish” and “substandard”.As one insider put it: “We didn’t use the sled because it wasn’t performing well. The drivers found it quite unresponsive, as it didn’t meld to the track, and they didn’t get a good feel.”What makes the story more remarkable is that the McLaren-built bobsleigh stopped being used in January 2014 following a crash – yet a month later during the Sochi Olympics there were several Nuggets Jersey breathless Nuggets Authentic Jersey reports Hawks Jersey talking Hawks Authentic Jersey about how F1 technology was powering the team’s medal attempts in Sochi.As the British Bobsleigh performance director Gary Anderson told the BBC in February 2014: “Secret squirrels are elements of the project that we’ve been keeping under wraps. They are like buried nuts which we’re now starting to uncover – ready to unleash at the Olympics and the signs so far are very positive.”That BBC report also mentioned that “a large portion of the £3,304,250 award they received has been invested in innovative cutting-edge technology and hiring experts from McLaren and BAE Systems.