Team GB have enjoyed great success in cycling Image Credit: AP

Dubai: British Cycling has fired one of its key coaches for gross misconduct, that includes a charge of “long term pattern of inappropriate relationships with riders”.

Kevin Stewart, who worked with the sprint arm of the track set-up, has been dismissed for bringing the national federation into disrepute. The governing body said it followed repeated warnings to Stewart that his behaviour “fell short of the values and standards expected”.

An investigation found “no evidence of a physical relationship between Stewart and any rider on the Great Britain Cycling Team”, but did deem his use of electronic communication “inappropriate” for the sport.

“I wholeheartedly apologise to the team for my actions, which I acknowledge were not acceptable,” Stewart said in a statement issued by British Cycling earlier this week.

“I realised my actions had made my position on the team untenable and had handed in my resignation before being dismissed while on my notice period,” he added.

The statement also outlined that Stewart had been warned over his conduct by British Cycling performance director Stephen Park but had “failed to follow specific direction” regarding relationships with riders.

“While this has been uncomfortable for everybody concerned, it demonstrates the robustness of the processes we have in place when concerns are raised,” Park underlined.

Stewart represented Scotland at the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi, where he came in 16th in the men’s cycling track keirin.

Stewart is married to Irish international track cyclist Robyn Stewart. Considered one of the top track coaches in Great Britain, Stewart had been preparing to help sprint legend Jason Kenny’s bid to become Team GB’s most successful-ever Olympian in Japan next year.

The latest scandal to hit the governing body after a series of controversies, news of Stewart’s sacking comes just a day after British Cycling announced Brian Facer will be its new chief executive, and just eight months before the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.