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British Cycling recruits FA exec as new CEO

The British Cycling governing body has appointed Julie Harrington of the English Football Association (FA) as its new chief executive.

Harrington (right of picture with former FA chairman Greg Dyke and Prince William) currently serves as group operations director at the FA, but will now step down in order to take up the role left vacant following the departure of Ian Drake.

British Cycling announced in October that Drake would leave his position as chief executive. Drake officially stepped down last month and Harrington will take up the vacant role in May.

Harrington joins British Cycling at an uncertain time for the organisation, which is currently the subject of a UK Sport independent investigation into its culture and practices. British Cycling is also under scrutiny from UK Anti-Doping into allegations of wrongdoing in the sport.

Speaking about her new role, Harrington said she was “thrilled” to be joining the organisation as it embarks on a “new chapter in its history”.

“This is the right time to be joining one of this country’s leading governing bodies,” Harrington said. “British Cycling already has a fantastic track record of using elite success to inspire millions of people to get active by getting on their bikes and is now setting its sights on new ambitions and a new way of working.”

Prior to her time with the FA, Harrington spent nine years as operations director at the Northern Racing Group. In addition, Harrington held senior marketing roles for leading organisations such as British Airways, Whitbread, Carlsberg-Tetley and Allied Domecq.

Jonathan Browning, who was appointed chairman of British Cycling last month, added: “Julie has substantial experience at the top level of sport and I am confident that she will excel in what is a landmark and exciting appointment for British Cycling.

“Her background in sport and commercial partnerships will prove vital in delivering our joint vision with HSBC UK to make cycling the number one sport and activity of choice in Britain. I am confident she will help us achieve our goal of becoming a world class governing body.”