Stephen Park has claimed to be reassured by British Cycling ahead of taking up the performance director role ©Getty Images

Stephen Park has claimed British Cycling have eased any concerns he had prior to taking up the role of performance director at the national governing body.

The organisation has come under significant pressure in recent months, following allegations of bullying and sexism.

British Cycling chairman Jonathan Browning admitted earlier this month that the governing body "failed" athletes on its world-class performance programme.

When asked whether the failings had caused him concern about his new post, Park claimed he had been reassured ahead of taking up the performance director post this Spring.

"From the interactions I've had with British Cycling, what I read in the paper doesn't represent what I see on the ground now," Park told the BBC.

"Of course, it would be a little bit disingenuous to say I've not had those thoughts at some time.

"From the reviews going on there are going to be lessons learned."

Last year, the organisation initiated a review of British Cycling after former technical director Shane Sutton resigned from his role amid accusations of sexual discrimination against sprinter Jess Varnish.

Stephen Park is taking up the performance director role having been the Royal Yachting Association’s Olympic manager ©British Cycling
Stephen Park is taking up the performance director role having been the Royal Yachting Association’s Olympic manager ©British Cycling

Six-time Paralympic champion Darren Kenny also alleged that Sutton had made derogatory remarks, with the Australian denying all allegations against him.

Led by Annamarie Phelps, the chairman of British Rowing and vice-chair of the British Olympic Association, the review was launched in April to look at any lessons the National Federation could learn.

A draft report was provided to UK Sport and British Cycling at the end of December 2016 and the findings and key recommendations were expected to be revealed last month, before it was delayed.

Park is currently the Royal Yachting Association’s (RYA) Olympic manager, where he helped lead the British Sailing team to the top of the sport’s medal table at Rio 2016.

During his 15-years in the role, Britain claimed 23 Olympic and Paralympic sailing medals.

Park, who will be British Cycling’s first performance director since Sir David Brailsford left in April 2014, believes coming from outside the sport could benefit the organisation.

"Going in as a non-cyclist perhaps gives me the opportunity to ask those questions that people haven't asked for a while - to reassure ourselves that the processes we have and systems we have are appropriate," he said.

"We're the third highest participation sport in the UK.

"It's important to all of those cyclists to get British Cycling back, in terms of a governance and organisational perspective, to where we would all like to see it."