MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The governing body of British cycling will lose its main sponsor after the Tokyo Olympics, potentially harming the long-term strength of the country’s top-performing sport at recent games.
HSBC has decided to exercise a break clause midway through an eight-year partnership with British Cycling “due to a shift in UK marketing and partnership priorities,” the governing body said on Tuesday.
The deal with HSBC was reportedly worth around 10 million pounds ($13 million) per Olympic cycle.
Cycling has been one of Britain’s most successful Olympic sports this century, winning 12 medals — twice as many as its nearest rival — in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and London in 2012. In Beijing in 2008, Britain won 14 medals in cycling, eight more than the country at No. 2 in the standings that year, France.
“As we look to 2021, we will be actively engaging the market to find a new partner to be part of the next stage of our exciting journey,” said Julie Harrington, chief executive of British Cycling.
HSBC announced last week it would cut around 35,000 jobs worldwide after profits fell by a third.
Former British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman is the subject of an ongoing medical tribunal. He faces being struck off by the General Medical Council after accepting 18 of 22 charges against him, including ordering testosterone and lying about it to UK Anti-Doping. He has denied ordering it knowing or believing that it was intended to enhance an athlete’s performance.
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